Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has established its position as a truly international regatta with at least thirteen different nations taking part. Competitors have travelled from as far as Australia, Norway, Hong Kong, Sweden and Antigua to take part, and international journalists from India, Russia and China are here to experience the qualities of this unique British sporting occasion.
A truly international regatta
The international visitors are creating a bit of a stir on the racecourse with the likes of Peter Cunningham’s TP52 Powerplay from USA, and the Dutch Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 at the top of the scoreboard in IRC Class 0. In IRC Class 1, Jamie McWilliam’s Peninsula Signal 8 from Hong Kong is currently in third place.
The international journalists, many who have never been on a boat before, are making the most of their Cowes Week experience too. The Chinese contingent aboard Ondeck’s Dehler 39 Nereus in IRC 3 spoke enthusiastically about their sailing debut, despite suffering from seasickness.
Vivian Zhang said there was a point during the rough day on The Solent when she wanted to get off. 'At first I joined in helping with the tacking but then I felt ill. Despite that, it was all very exciting. What impressed me most was how friendly people were on board and how good the communication was. Although I did feel ill, I got through it and really want to go sailing again. I think Cowes Week provides a fantastic chance for people of all ages to have a chance to sail with each other and use their ability to get really involved.'
Yi Liu, a radio presenter in China added: 'We don’t have anything like this in China. We only ever see sailing on TV, so for us it was a great eye-opener. It is great to think that many of the people out on the water here at Cowes have city jobs one minute and work on race boats the next. It is a great contrast. I have also learnt that you don’t need to own a boat to participate.'