Cowes Week is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. Over 8,000 competitors take part and the event features many drinks parties and a famous fireworks display.
What to expect at Cowes Week
At this event, many different boats race during the day. At Cowes week, there are up to 40 starts a day for classes of cruiser-racers, one designs and keelboats; up to a thousand boats and 8,000 competitors take part. As well as the sailing activities, the week also includes onshore events such as live music and various drinks parties. The famous Cowes fireworks display takes place on the Friday evening.
Lots of high profile guests attend this occasion. Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham have all visited along with many Olympic sailors.
Event hotspots and hospitality
Marquees are erected in the marinas serving food and drink and the crowds overflow from busy public houses and restaurants around the narrow high street. There are many places to enjoy during the event and spectators watch from the shore. The Green and The Parade are great places to view the action. You can also go afloat should you wish. For those wanting to watch from the water, there are a number of spectator boat options, offering trips to watch the racing action up close. During the event, spectator boats go out on hour-long trips at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm, departing from Trinity Landing on Cowes Parade. Each trip costs £12.50 for an adult and £8 for a child.
Did you know
Cowes Week is one of the longest running sporting events in the UK. It has been held every year since 1826, except during the two World Wars.
The first race was for a Gold Cup of the value of £100, held in 1826 for just seven yachts. The next year King George IV indicated his approval of the event by presenting a cup.
Several classes that raced more than 50 years ago are still racing today; Dragons, Flying Fifteens, Redwings, Sea View Mermaids, Solent Sunbeams, Swallows, Victories and X-one-designs. New classes are also introduced as they increase in popularity.
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Embrace your inner sailing fashion streak at Cowes Week. We’re talking comfortable deck shoes, smart colorful trousers and a polo shirt. Nautical stripes will go down well. It is a relaxed preppy vibe for this event.
Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK
There are regular ferries to and from the Island and even during Cowes Week there is no need to book as a foot passenger. However, if you plan to bring a car to the island (remember that parking at Cowes is very limited), then bookings are essential. View Location.