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Cowes brings colour and spectacle to the Isle of Wight

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight has been a significant fixture on the British sporting summer calendar ever since 1826, and has gone on to become one of the longest running and most successful sporting events in the whole of the UK.

Offering a breathtaking combination of colour and spectacle, it is a highlight for residents and visitors to the Isle of Wight alike, as well as yet another reason for planning a visit to the Island in the height of summer.

The first ever race at Cowes was for a Gold Cup valued at £100. Just seven yachts competed for this under the flag of the Royal Yacht Club (later to become the Royal Yacht Squadron which is celebrating its bicentenary this year). The following year King George IV indicated his approval of the event by presenting The King’s Cup, which was subsequently competed for at every event up to 1939, and the event became known as Cowes Regatta.

The regatta has evolved enormously since 1826 and, in staging up to 40 daily races for between 850 and 1,000 boats, it is today the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place this year from Saturday August 8th to 15th, and will feature an exciting and diverse blend of competitive sailing – as well as a strong social scene.

The 8,000 competitors range from world class yachtsmen to weekend sailors and household celebrities, and in excess of 100,000 visitors come to enjoy the festival atmosphere and experience that the event offers.

Traditionally a key component of the British Summer “Season”, taking place after Goodwood and before the Glorious 12th, the event has attracted both British and foreign Royalty – and many famous faces. The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne are frequent visitors.

Events of particular interest this year include a Family Fun Day on August 9th; Ladies Day on August 11th, which is a celebration of women in sailing, as well as a spectacle in its own right; and the Artemis Challenge on August 13th when visitors can watch some of the best boats and sailors in the world set off on a 50 mile sprint around the Isle of Wight, to win a £10k charity prize. (Teams competing in the Artemis Challenge in the past have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, including Davina McCall & Bryan Adams).

Further details about Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week can be found at www.aamcowesweek.co.uk and the event can be followed on social media through @Cowes_Week and #CowesWeek.

The Isle of Wight, or course, has a great sailing heritage, and is the perfect place to visit for anyone who not only wants to watch events such as Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, but also the wants to spend time on the water themselves

UKSA in Cowes, for example, offers a full range of courses (http://uksa.org/leisure-courses/); as does the Medina Valley Centre in the sheltered tidal estuary near to Newport (http://www.medinavalleycentre.org.uk/isle-of-wight-sailing.php).

For a full round-up of all sailing opportunities on the Island, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/sailing-and-charters-boat-trips.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer
Tel: 07766 705672 E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk