The Isle of Wight is synonymous with sailing and the jewel in our nautical crown is the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
From 8th – 15th August Cowes becomes an ‘Apres Sail’ hub bursting with bars, shops, live music, kids activities and fab food, along with spectator boat trips to see the sailing action.
Here’s a round up of what to look out for this Cowes Week.
Best Place to Watch from the Shore
Undoubtedly the best place to watch is in front of the start line at The Royal Yacht Squadron – if you can cope with the loud bangs of the start guns – and in the afternoon head down to Egypt Point to watch the fleet return home.
Best Race for Celeb Watching
The Artemis Challenge that is held on the Thursday of Cowes Week (August 13th) always attracts a strong list of celebrity guests. Teams competing in the race 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 Ewan McGregor, Davina McCall, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies. The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10am on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.
This year Island based charity UKSA has announced that HRH The Princess Royal (the UKSA’s Patron) and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, will be joining their young ambassadors and invited guests to take part in racing during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on Tuesday 5th August.
Best Day for the Kids
Sunday 3rd August is Family Day with a range of family-friendly activities and exclusive group offers. The special free events include daily actuates at UKSA at Cowes Yacht Haven, a children’s flag making competition, a Wight Stars production ofWind in the willows at Northwood House, open-air cinema at Northwood House and discounts on RIB rides and the spectator boat. See the website for more details: www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
Best Way to see the Action from the Water
The spectator boat goes 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. Or for an exhilarating ride onboard a high speed Rigid Inflatable Powerboat RIB rides depart at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm for a 60 minute blast across the Solent and bookings for this can be made here. Each trip costs £35 for an adult and £25 for a child. To charter your own RIB for the full week or a day, Solent Rib Charter have a range of Ribs available on a skippered or bareboat basis.
Best Places for Live Music
Cowes Yacht Haven has the largest live music venue, the Gill Stage, with live music every night that includes a host of very good local bands. Cowes Parade also has a stage and live music from midday every day until 10.30pm, The Anchor pub in the High Street has a comprehensive live music line up through the week, Shepherds Wharf Marina offers nightly music and nightclub and there will also be live music and magic in the High Street from around noon till 6pm.
2014 marks a new era at Shepards Wharf, with a specially dedicated crew bar, shopping village and food available as well as the new ‘Maggie’s Night Club’, open every day during the regatta until 2am.