Cowes Week: 5 Ways to Get Out on the Water

Want to get out on the water during Cowes Week, but don’t have your own boat? There are several ways to see the action, or indeed get involved, and we’ve put together our top five methods to get out on the sea.

1. For Families

Spectator boats leave from Trinity Landing on Cowes Parade, give an hour-long trip around the Solent to see the racing boats. Departing at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm, each trip costs £12.50 for an adult and £8 for a child and these are a great way to see the action safely, especially if you have small children (and adults) who are not used to being on a boat. There’s a proper gangplank to get onto the boat and it’s all very civilised, but if conditions are wet or rough, you do need to bring waterproof clothing with you and bookings are subject to weather conditions.

Your electronic devices and cameras are your responsibility when there is a possibility of rain or spray on the open sections of the boat and all children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

You do have to arrive 10 minutes prior to the departure time of your trip with details of your booking reference number, which will be issued with your confirmation email following completion of the online booking form. Bookings can be made at the Regatta Centre on the Parade. More details are available here.

2. For Adrenalin Junkies

For a more exhilarating view of the boats, RIB rides are available throughout the week with departures at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. These 60 minute blasts across the yacht-filled Solent take spectators as close as they can get to the action, without actually taking part in the racing.

Rib Rides are also run from Trinity Landing, on Cowes Parade, and visitors can book during Cowes Week by visiting the desk on the pontoon. Advance bookings can be made from 17th July to 3rd August by calling 07985 535879 or by email, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Prices are £36 per adult and £25 for children aged 16 and under and include use of wet weather gear and lifejackets. On Family Day, Sunday August 5th, the price for a Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 16) will be at a special rate of £100. At all other times, a special family ticket price for families of 4 is available for £112.



3. For Kids

UKSA has Watersports Fun Days throughout Cowes Week for 7 to 16 year olds with a full day of water based fun (9am to 4.30pm) for only £45. Choose from Dinghy Sailing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Raft Building and Wet Team Games. Some days have more than one activity included in the day’s fun (see below).

UKSA provide all the equipment you’ll need such as wetsuits, buoyancy aids, spray tops and helmets – you just send your child/children along with packed lunches and sensible shoes (deck shoes are preferable).

This is the Cowes Week Fun Day Schedule: 

04/08/2018 - Dinghy & Stand Up Paddleboarding 

05/08/2018 - Raft Build & Windsurf

06/08/2018 - Dinghy & Kayak

07/08/2018 - Raft Build & Stand Up Paddleboarding

08/08/2018 - Kayak & Stand Up Paddleboarding

09/08/2018 - Dinghy & Stand Up Paddleboarding

10/08/2018 - Kayak & Windsurf

Children will be supervised at all times and will need picking up/ dropping off promptly. To secure a place on any of the above course dates for your child you do need to book and pay in advance. Payment can be taken over the phone and paid by credit card/ debit card, or by money transfer. Contact Beth on 01983 203046 for more details, or to make a booking for these Watersports Fun Days.

4. Cruise in Style

If you want to watch the Cowes Week spectacular Firework Display on Friday 10thAugust, from just outside the entrance to Cowes Harbour, surrounded by twinkling lights from the myriad of yachts, then the Red Funnel Fireworks Cruise is the best way to do it!

Either join the vehicle ferry from Southampton at 20:15hrs (check in 19:15-19:50hrs) or at East Cowes 20:45hrs (check in 20:00-20:20hrs).

As well as unrivalled views of the fireworks there will be a party atmosphere with live entertainment from official radio partner SAM FM. Adult tickets are £26 pp (concessions available), or upgrade and take a seat in their brand new Signature Lounge, where you’ll enjoy a glass of Prosecco and a private viewing area from AA deck.



myIsleofWight Wild Card

If you’re an experienced sailor there may be opportunities for you to crew during Cowes Week. Go and look at the notice boards in the various sailing and yacht clubs in Cowes or ask around amongst the sailing community.

Jo Macaulay

19 July 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles