P1040093 - CopyThis year sees the 200th Anniversary of the historic Royal Yacht Squadron. With its castle sitting at the entrance to Cowes and looking across the Solent, the RYS will play host to a special five day event- 25-31 July 2015. A programme of events has been planned  which includes daily inshore racing and a race around the Isle of Wight (clockwise) where the main fleet  will  be joined by other yachts too big to take part in the Solent races.

With entries so far there is the promise of a spectacle of timeless classic yachts versus the cutting edge modern versions. Now, early in the year for entries for the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary, boats are starting to lay down the gauntlet for a summer of sailing in the Solent in that last week of July.

Three majestic J-Class Yachts, Velsheda, Ranger and Lionheart , will line up alongside other historic legends including the 48ft Tomahawk built in 1938 and 52ft Dorade, built in 1929.  Both are Sparkman and Stephens designs. From the breathtaking schooner Eleonora at 160ft to the two 8 metre yachts Helen and Enchantement built 1936 and 1923 respectively, the event is a magnet for the most immaculate and competitive classic boats in Europe and beyond.  Several, including Dorade  are racing across the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island, to take part in this year’s Royal Yacht Squadron’s 200 years celebration.

This event is set to be a mecca for grand prix yachts too – entries to date include the mighty 120ft Briand designed sloop Bristolian, mini-maxi Jethou and many well known names in the performance IRC fleets including Ker 46 Tonnere of Breskens, Elan 40 Flair, TP 52 Gladiator, and Grand Soleil 43 Quokka.   Swan classes will be represented too with entries including Swan 57 Noonmark VI, which will also be taking part in the Transatlantic Race, and Swan 44 Rosy Pelican.
Several clubs from around the world including one from each of the east and west coast USA, three from Europe, and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club have already paid their entry fees for the Level Rating Class, where teams will race in chartered Beneteau First 40s.  More are expected to follow.