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Clipper Ventures

Cowes Classics competitors aim to repeat a great sailing experience

by Cowes Classics Week 2 May 08:27 PDT 27 July - 2 August 2019
Cowes Classics Week © Tim Jeffreys Photography

"As a regular competitor in Cowes Classics Week I am looking forward to another week of fantastic clear water racing and excellent courses together with the best onshore social events in the Cowes calendar," says regular competitor Sir Richard Ottaway, who has competed previously in his Daring, Decoy. Sir Richard sums up the excitement of the competitors as they look forward to the 12th edition of Cowes Classics Week.

Another keen competitor coming back for another shot at winning is Richard Pearson, who won the hotly contested Solent Sunbeam Class in 2018. "We're really looking forward to competing at Cowes Classics Week in the hope that we can repeat our success of last year," he says, adding "The entries for the Solent Sunbeam Class is larger this year so will not be as easy!"

With less than three months to go until the opening race on 29th July the 2019 edition of Cowes Classics Week is shaping up to be a vintage regatta - 'vintage' defining not just the quality of the event but the pedigree of the fleet that is taking part. The Solent Sunbeams join more than thirteen fleets of boats which over the past years have enjoyed the highly acclaimed race management on five separate courses and the relatively empty sea space providing first class racing. The friendly atmosphere of the daily social events at the Cowes yacht clubs beats the hustle of bigger, crowded and more 'industrial' sailing events.

The organising club, the Royal London Yacht club is welcoming the entries as they come in thick and fast from classes and one-offs which all share a pride in their classic designs which were drawn up 50 years ago or more and a good number of which are more than 100 years old.

Yachts range from state of the art immaculate Darings and Dragons, to truly historic craft including the rescued, restored and reclaimed. Already on the entry list is Cynthia, owned by Mike Randall and partners.

"Returning to Cowes Classics Week in 2019 with Cynthia was an easy decision because we had thoroughly enjoyed the event in each of the previous two years," comments Mike. "The company is good, the week's social events are enjoyable and the racing is as good as we've found anywhere yet."

An International Jury team is being gathered from around the world to ensure free and fair racing for the fleet, whose numbers are expected to reach in excess of 180 if previous years are anything to go by. Cowes Classics Week has grown strongly since its inaugural regatta 12 years ago.

Red Funnel, Signature Sponsor for Cowes Classics Week, has kindly offered the hundreds of competitors discounted travel fares so getting to the event is set to be easier than ever. Early entries were also hoping to be the winner of a free entry being offered up by the organisers. That bit of luck belonged to Peter Nicolson and his Sunbeam DAINTY which was designed and built in 1922 and still sails competitively in fleet today. They were first out of the draw for entries placed before the 30th March early qualifying date.

For the classes, which include S&S Swans, Squibs, Bembridge One Designs, classic cruisers, XODs, Darings, Dragons, Solent Sunbeams, Swallows, Metre yachts, Old Gaffers, and other classic keelboat designs, the week will once again provide thrilling Solent race courses and evening entertainment. The afternoon Winkworth Tea and Cakes are legendary, held after racing each afternoon at the organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club. The Cowes Corinthian YC and the Island Sailing Club are opening their doors for social events as well, while the RORC, Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the Royal Thames YC are helping on the water.

Have a look at all the information, including the race programme and social events, on the 2019 website. Eligible competitors who haven't entered yet can find all the information they need including the Red Funnel travel discounts on cowesclassicsweek.org. Racing takes place from 29th July to 2nd August.

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