The Isle of Wight is synonymous with sailing and the jewel in our nautical crown is the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
From 7th – 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 9th August is Family Day with a range of family-friendly activities and exclusive group offers. The special free events include Gemma Hunt from CBEEBIES hosting a Pirate Day on Cowes Parade, a cardboard boat race and UKSA’s Boss Up A Mast competition at Trinity Landing. There are family day activities at Shepherd’s Wharf from 12 noon till 5pm and music, entertainers, face-painting and glitter tattoos based at various locations throughout the High Street. At 7.30pm a family film begins in at the Outdoor Cinema at Northwood House – vote for your choice of film at http://www.travellingfilmshow.co.uk/vote2015
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.
All the way from the King’s Road to Cowes, the nightclub with the mostess will be the 151 Club, which is setting up at Shephard’s Wharf and is open every day from 9pm till 2am.