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Regatta News

Cowes Classics Week News

Shoreline Z7S7202 2It was terrific to see so many returning competitors to the 15th Edition of Cowes Classics Week joined by lots of newcomers including the magnificent Swan 65 Eve from Sydney Australia.

At a time when many regatta’s are reporting declining numbers we are delighted that Cowes Classics Week is showing modest increases year on year. It is not our aim to make the regatta bigger, but we do strive to make it better.

Following this link will take you to our Wash Up Survey. We have changed it a little this year and are sending it out much sooner as many of you requested last year. We do carefully consider every returned survey and respond to what we learn. This enables us to continually improve the regatta so do please take a few minutes to complete and return the survey as the more responses we have the higher the quality of data.

The generosity of Mazars Charitable Trust and the competitors raised almost £4,000 for our charities Autism on the Water and UKSA who both do so much in different ways to encourage young people to go to sea in boats and benefit from their experiences. The financial contribution from Cowes Classics Week is a tremendous help to them and those of you that attended the regatta Dinner will have heard first hand of the work that they do, and the results achieved.

Tom Rusbridge PROThis year we welcomed Tom Rusbridge as our PRO (photo right). Last year Tom worked with Peter Taylor and Gill Smith who between them have many years experience of managing big regattas including the Olympics. Many of you commented to me that Tom showed great empathy with the regatta and enjoyed his approach as he stamped his own style on the regatta. We hope to welcome Tom back to Cowes Classics Week in 2024.

Tim Jeffreys, the regatta photographer, took some amazing photographs every day of the week. He tries to capture every boat in the regatta so do look through the gallery on the web site and if you like what you see you can purchase the image at very reasonable rates. 

Our work for this year is done but very soon preparations start for Cowes Classics Week 6th – 12th July 2024. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to Cowes.

David Gower

Cowes Classics Week 2023

Tim Jeffreys 7294 6493 800 600 100 SwallowsThe 125 competitors registering for Cowes Classics Week on 9th July were treated to Cowes Classics Day, a celebration of classic forms of transport, with over fifty cars, buses and motor yachts and a vintage biplane fly-past outside the organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club. The following five days of competitive Corinthian racing were complemented by a full social program hosted by six local yacht clubs.

The winds were strong all week but each fleet was able to race every day. Three race tracks provided racing for the nine fleets of dayboats on the GJW Direct windward-leeward courses, while the classic yachts and old gaffers enjoyed round-the-cans racing from the RLYC club line.

At the Evelyn Partners Prize-giving, competitors sat down to a glass of English sparkling wine and a high tea to watch the winners receive their prizes. With twenty-six entries, the Swallow class was won convincingly by Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir. On behalf of the Swallow class, Mike also collected the Queen Victoria Trophy in recognition of their seventy-fifth anniversary. The winner in the 6mr class was Simon Williams on Silvervingen, who, with Shirley Robertson aboard achieved a full set of race wins. In the Daring class the racing was much closer but David Tydeman on Dynamite held on to take the overall win. John Tremlett on Astralita had to fight all the way to win the popular XOD class while Claire Locke recovered from a slow start to win the Folkboat class in The Otter. The Flying Fifteens were won convincingly by Chris Gorringe in Leap of Faith and Chris also walked away with the New Helm Trophy. Jonathan Evans won the Loch Long class aboard Tantrum. Michael Cover came good towards the end of the week to win the Dragon class in Ithaca, as did Martin Harrison in Hussar in the Squib class. Rounding off the winners in the dayboat classes was Noel Dobbs in the Seaview Mermaid Mimosa.

The Concours d’Elegance was won by the beautifully presented Dorothy, owned by Ossie Stewart. Ratsey & Lapthorn sailmakers supplied a trophy for the Spirit of Cowes Classics Week and this was won by the Swallow Class when they all pulled together to save a race that was in dispute. The Classic Boat Magazine Trophy for seamanship was won by Barry Elliott, the RLYC coxswain, and William McNeill’s team aboard XOD Lara won the David Gower Bowl for the youngest average age crew. The Traveller’s Trophy for the furthest-travelled entry was not in dispute this year; it was won by Eve, a Swan 65 which was sailed from Sydney, Australia by Steven Capell & Fraser Welch.

Cowes Classics Week 2024 will run from 7th to 12th July, incorporating Cowes Classics Day on the 7th and racing from the 8th to the 12th

Daring DreamerAnother cracking day of sailing on the Solent with brighter and rather more manageable conditions than Wednesday.

The fleets set off in a westerly wind of about 15 knots and a weakening ebb tide. During the morning the wind gradually increased to 20 knots reaching 25 knots by 13.00 by which time the tide was beginning to flood.

Only 4 points separate the top three boats in the National Swallow fleet with Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir holding the lead 2 points ahead of Jeremy Sibthorpe in Osprey.

Giles Peckham in Daring Dauntless is one point behind David Tydeman in Dynamite. Neither boat has a run of bullets and Bob Gatehouse in Darling has been amongst them all week.

The Loch Long Tantrum sailed by Jonathan Evans is tied on 15 points with Ian Giffords Faolag with Paul Antcliff in Mermaid only three points behind. The last race on Friday will decide who wins.

Chris Gorringe is a new helm in the Flying Fifteen Leap of Faith and with 5 bullets and a discarded 2nd place has established a 4 point lead over Rob Goddard in Over the Moon.
The Dragon class have had a terrific week effectively match racing. Andrew Milliband in Glaurung has 9 points and Michael Cover in Ithaca has 8 points suggesting some very enthusiastic racing on the last day.

The Folkboats have also had a very close matched week with Claire Locke in The Otter prevailing over Alasdair Maclean in Eala by just one point. Their series finished on Thursday and the prize giving for this class will be at the RYS this evening.

John Tremlett in XOD Astralita has managed to establish a 2 point lead over Ben McGrane in Swallow which is well ahead of the next placed boat 19 points behind with only one race to complete.

Mark Dowie sailing the 10 mR Bojar has established a three-point lead over the Sydney registered Swan 65 Eve sailed by Steven Capell and Fraser Welch with one more race to go on Friday.
Peter Binning and Anita Fulton have had a great week in their newly acquired Contessa 32 English Rose chasing the International H Boat of Richard Hollis 4 points ahead with one race to go.
In Division 3 Marcus Lawson sailing his Twister Edith Rose has three bullets and a second place in the series giving him a 9 point lead over second placed Jamie Nimmo in his Seaview Mermaid Cynthia and in the Old Gaffers class the charming Dorothy sailed by Linton Hope has managed a bullet every day to lead the series by 8 points

We look forward to seeing you all at the RYS reception this evening followed by the Regatta Dinner at the RLYC.

This is the last daily report and the full prize giving and tea will be at the RLYC on Friday afternoon as soon after racing as possible.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year – perhaps with some friends!

Cowes Classics Week 2023

XOD'sFor the third day of racing the fleets set out of Cowes under a cloudy bright sky and 15 – 20 knots of westerly wind with the last of the ebb giving an easy sea. By 11.00 the wind was consistently 25 knots + with gusts up to 30+.

The 6 mR and Flying Fifteens decided that the increasing wind speed was not to their liking and did not race today with the Dragons and Darings deciding to go home after the first race leaving David Tydeman in Dynamite 9 and Giles Peckham in Dauntless 3 tied with 9 points each after 5 races and Bob Gatehouse in Darling 11 only 4 points behind with 3 races to complete.

Mike Cover sailing Dragon Ithaca retired from race 5 so now trail Andrew Milliband in Glaurung by 2 points.
I met a number of very happy Swallow sailors coming ashore having completed two races. Their smiling faces were evidence of the comments of many “best sailing day ever!” Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir has consolidated his lead with 9 points followed by Jeremy Sibthorp in Osprey on 15 points and Harry Roome in Skua on 19 points.

At the end of race 6 Ian Clifford sailing Loch Long Faolag 36 and Paul Antcliff in Mermaid 131 are level with 11 points each pursued by Jonathan Evans in Tantrum 139 2 points behind on 13.

The lovely Swan 65 Eve was the first entry to Cowes Classics Week 2023. Steven Capell and his crew have sailed up from Nice having left Sydney Australia in 2021. They are having a great week chasing Mark Dowie’s beautiful 10 mR Bojar just 2 points behind with 2 races to go. Eve is a veteran of the Sydney Hobart and will compete in the Fastnet race starting on 22nd July before going on to the Middle Sea race.

In Division 3 the Twister Edith Rose sailed by Marcus Lawson has built a useful lead of 5 points over second placed Jamie Nimmo in the 100 year old Seaview Mermaid Cynthia but is pursued by Richard Johnson in his SCOD Anjajo only 3 points behind with two races to complete.

Folkboat The Otter sailed by Claire Locke and Eala sailed by Alasdair Maclean are tied with 5 points each with their series completing on Thursday and prize givng at the RYS reception.

The XOD’s Astralita X91 sailed by John Tremlett and Swallow X166 sailed by Ben McGrane are also tied at 9 points each with three races to complete.

The daily prize giving for Wednesday’s races will be at the Kendalls’ Reception before the dinners at the Island Sailing Club..

Cowes Classics Week 2023

WarriorThe forecast for a few days had suggested that Tuesday would be wet and windy but this had moderated somewhat by Monday and in fact the day turned out dry although mostly overcast with a building South Westerly giving a little more than 20 knots by early afternoon.

Sadly this proved a little too much for the Hillyard 2.5 ton gaffer “Catherine” who lost her mast following a shroud parting. Thankfully no one was injured and she recovered herself under her own power to port.

Our race circuit sponsors GJW Direct visited today and were taken afloat to view the racing by Sir Richard Ottaway in his semi displacement launch Sea Otter. Returning to the clubhouse for a light lunch they were able to watch the race finishes from the comfort of the RLYC Balcony.

John Tremlett sailing XOD Astralita X91 has built a 2 point lead over next placed Ben McGrane in X166 “Swallow” with Roger Yeoman in X50 14 points behind after 4 races.

In the Folkboat class Claire Locke in The Otter and Alasdair Maclean each have a bullet after the second race with The Otter one point behind as a result of a 3rd placing on Monday against Eala’s 2nd today.

Andrew Millbar and Michael Cover in the Dragons appear to be effectively match racing with 6 points each after 4 races. Clearly well matched they are having an exciting series notwithstanding a fleet of two!

Chris Gorringe is consistent in the Flying Fifteen class with three bullets and one second with Rob Goddard equally so with one bullet and three seconds trailing by just two points at race 4.

Five of the six Loch Longs have each finished in the first three with only 1 point each between four of them with just under half the scheduled races sailed.
The racing is tight in Classic Yacht Division 2 with Richard Hollis’s H Boat leading Peter Binnings Contessa 32 by just two points and only one point each between 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed boats overall.

The daily prize giving will be at RORC at 18.15 allowing those joining the Jenny Lee launch to the Royal Victoria YC “Pie Night” to make the 18.30 departure from Trinity Landing. The Cowes lifeboat will accompany the Jenny Lee demonstrating rescue techniques on the way to be joined by the Bembridge Lifeboat at Wootton.

Those who have decided upon the Mexican Buffett will stay at RORC.

The current forecast for Wednesday is mostly dry but with a building south westerly during the day. The race officers will take the conditions into consideration at the morning briefing.

Cowes Classics Week 2023

6mRFollowing a terrific Cowes Classics Day on Sunday 9th July, Cowes Classics Week racing got off to a brilliant start under a cloudy bright sky with a relatively steady South to southwest wind across the Solent.

Two times Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson was sailing aboard SWE31 6 metre Silvervingen scoring two bullets to establish an early lead in the series.

A couple of Loch Longs and a Mermaid tried to join the Daring fleet but soon realised they were at the wrong circuit but manged to join their own fleet just in time for the start.

Spinaway XPrincipal Race Officer Tom Rusbridge working with Circuit 5 Race Officer Derek Hodd and the regatta handicapper Iain McAllister have agreed provisional fleet splits for Cowes Classics Week 2023.

The list is available on the Regatta Noticeboard for download. It is currently marked as provisional to allow for possible late entries and will be confirmed before the first start on Monday 10 July.

Sunbeams TJP6934Entries for the 2023 Cowes Classics Week regatta closed at 11:59 today 5 July 2023.

If you are reading this thinking you might still want to get on a start line next week, then late entries will be accepted at the discretion of the organising authority.

Contact us as soon as possible.

Viva Cowes Classics Cropped

The Hog Roast held at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club on Monday 10 July includes live entertainment from Elvis inspired Craig Jefferson, who is presenting a show called 'Viva Cowes Classics'.

If you just want to enjoy the show then we have put a number of entertainment-only tickets on sale at just £12 per person. Entry to Cowes Corinthian is at 21:00 after the Hog Roast has been tidied away and the performance is scheduled to begin at 21:30.

The CCYC pay bar will of course be ready to slake thirsts and the dress code is decidedly ‘open’.

There are a limited number of Elvis entertainment-only tickets on sale.

If you are still thinking about food as well, then a number of Hog Roast tickets remain available which of course include the entertainment at £39..

Book your selection here

Flyover for saleWhen enquiring as to why the lovely 1968 S&S Swan 36 'Flyover' was not entering the 2023 regatta, we we told by John Wilson the current owner that with a heavy heart he has put her up for sale.

It seemed only right to let our classics community know and hopefully reach a new owner to take her over and sail her with us again.

You'll find all you need to know about Flyover on this sales information sheet.

Classic Boat Magazine
Ratsey and Lapthorn
Llallows Boatyard
World Leisurewear
Mermaid Gin Isle of Wight Distillery
Red Funnel Ferries
GJW Insurance
Kendalls Fine Art Gallery
GJW Insurance