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Something for everyone at AAM Cowes Week

by AAM Cowes Week 7 Jun 2011 14:12 PDT 6-13 August 2011
Something for everyone at Cowes Week © Polly Durrant

With just 60 days to go until the inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, organisers have announced a strong line-up of activities and entertainment for visitors to the world’s best-known sailing regatta.

One of the great things about the regatta is that there’s always plenty to do. Each year, over 100,000 people arrive in Cowes to watch the racing, soak up the festival atmosphere and enjoy the après-sail fun, and this year’s packed shore-side calendar is guaranteed to keep everyone entertained.

Spectator Options

Visitors can enjoy watching much of the racing from the shore in Cowes. The Green and The Parade are great places to view the action, and the ever popular Extreme Sailing Series returns for 2011 with some exhilarating inshore racing off Egypt Point (from 3pm, Saturday 6 until Tuesday 9 August).

For those who would like to get afloat, bookings are now open for the event spectator boat service. The spectator boats allow over 150 visitors each day to get safely among the action and enjoy close views of the racing on hour-long round trips. Book up at or in person at the entrance to Trinity Landing during the event. Tickets are £8 for children up to 16, £10 for adults.

An exhilarating ride aboard a high speed Rigid Inflatable Powerboat is an option for the more adventurous, available from Ondeck through their ‘Rock up and RIB’ programme. To book, call 01983 284300 or email .

Finally, for those that would like to give sailing a go for themselves, the UKSA are offering hour-long sailing lessons for just £5 per person. Bookings can be made throughout the event at the UKSA unit on Cowes Parade.

Time ashore

As well as all the sailing action, there’s plenty going on in Cowes, with live entertainments providing a vibrant, festival atmosphere at each of the key venues.

Cowes Parade provides a unique vantage point of the racing start lines, as well as street entertainment, live music, the Sail for Gold bar and The Deck Restaurant.

At the centre of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week shore-side activity is Cowes Yacht Haven. Entry is free (excluding Fireworks night) to the Haven, which this year features the Mahiki Cowes Cocktail Bar and live entertainment on the Gill stage. As part of the build-up to the regatta, Cowes Yacht Haven is also hosting two very special events. On Wednesday 3 August STATUS QUO will ‘Rock the Dock’ and on Thursday 4 August, entertainment will be provided by THE MANFREDS. Tickets for both nights are on sale now (

Dedicated to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week participants and friends, Shepards Wharf Marina hosts crew parties and themed nights throughout the week. Entrance to the site is free, although Competitor passes may be required at certain times. The late night Toe in the Water Crew Bar is open until 2am and entry to Club Infernos is free with a Competitor pass before 10pm throughout the week (excluding Fireworks night).


A highlight of the event is the world-renowned fireworks, which take place on the final Friday of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Tens of thousands of spectators flock from all over the Island and from the Mainland to watch the spectacular display over the Solent.

Both the event organisers, Cowes Week Limited, and Aberdeen Asset Management as the title sponsor of the event have committed sizeable contributions to the display this year. However, additional funds are still needed, and a fundraising campaign involving the local community is working hard to make sure that the 2011 fireworks display can go ahead. Anyone wishing to play their part in helping the campaign should visit to donate.

Other events

Other notable highlights include the newly introduced Family Day on Sunday 7 August, a day of fun for the whole family, whether racing, spectating or just soaking up the atmosphere. The event also hosts its regular Ladies Day on Tuesday 9 August, with activities to celebrate the achievements of women in sailing.

Up-to-date details of all the entertainment and activities on offer at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week can be found on the event website at

Getting there

Red Funnel operate a hi-speed ferry service (23 minutes) between Cowes and Southampton giving fast access to the event from Southampton. In addition, a dedicated service operates between Lymington and Cowes throughout the event, courtesy of Blue Funnel.

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