Aberdeen Asset Management are in their fifth and final year as title sponsors of Cowes Week and have worked with Cowes Week Limited to bring down entry fees for competitors.
A number of new initiatives have improved the overall event experience for spectators. This year the regatta runs from the 8th-15th August.
Cowes Week Limited is wholly owned by Cowes Combined Clubs Limited and was formed in November 2007. Its aim is to streamline both the shoreside events and racing elements via a single management board with overall responsibility for the event.
An embryonic Cowes Week first occurred in 1826 and today the regatta is the largest of its kind in the World.
This year Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week features a number of themed days including Family Day on Sunday 9th August.
On Monday the 10th UKSA Day gives the official charity a chance to fund raise. Company bosses will be sent up a 100 foot yacht mast, a challenge that is always a good photo opportunity for spectators and participants alike.
Liz Earle will sponsor Ladies Day on the Tuesday. Inaugurated in 2006 the Ladies Day Trophy was won last year by Dee Caffari MBE and in the past has been won by Island based sailors, Louise Morton and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox.
Youth Day is the focus of attraction on the Wednesday of AAM Cowes Week. Highlight of the day’s racing focuses on the under 25 Trophy now in its fourth year.
Thursday evening will see a display by the Red Arrows and between Tuesday and Thursday competitions will feature the Big Boat series. Previous regular participant Sir Peter Ogden returns to take part in the regatta after a number of years campaigning in Mediterranean based events.
As ever the highlight of Friday is the firework display, donations are still welcome for this, whilst Saturday sees the final prizegiving in Cowes Yacht Haven.
As well as Liz Earle supporting sponsors include: Chatham Marine, Chilgrove Gin, Gill, Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine and Sunsail.
Dee Caffari, who has attended Cowes Week for 15 years, recently spoke on her career. After a five year teaching career Dee took a large gamble by deciding she wanted to make sailing her career. As a somewhat mature student she enrolled with UKSA, Cowes in order to gain the necessary qualifications which, of course, she has now put to great use.
Having sailed single-handed and non-stop around the World in both directions she is the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the World three times. In 2014 she joined Team SCA the all female entry in the latest edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, a race which saw Team SCA win the penultimate leg from Lisbon to Loriente.
Having left UKSA in 2000 Dee returned there recently to show support to the, soon to be launched, new ‘Unlocking Potential’ programme which will be aimed at young people currently out of education and unable to find work.
Initially six young people from St. Giles Trust, an organisation that works with offenders and disadvantaged people, will take part in the four-week ‘Unlocking Potential’ course. Aberdeen Asset Management has sponsored this course and the participants will be on the Island when it is Cowes Week.