Over 150 classic boats will be arriving in the waters off Cowes over this weekend for this year’s Cowes Classics Week 2014.
Once again the classics, including the metre yachts, Solent Sunbeams, XODs, Darings, Swallows, Flying Fifteens and Bembridge One Designs, to name just a few, will be attending the five day event which starts on 21st July.
Cowes Classics Week, which first took place in 2008 as a modest event for metre and classic dayboats, has since welcomed classic cruisers such as the Nicholsons, SCODs, Twisters and many beautiful one offs, while the Old Gaffer class is still going strong.
These yachts, representing 30 yacht clubs both in the UK and overseas, will be competing in 14 different classes over a number of race courses. Crews are coming from the across the UK and overseas, including a crew from Perth, Western Australia.
Back to defend their 2013 titles include overall winner of the event, current Harken Trophy holder Jo Burnie who sails a Solent Sunbeam. Mike Martell, winner of last year’s largest class, the XOD, will also be back to try to hold off his 50-odd rivals for the Haines Boatyard Trophy. Saskia is the yacht to watch out for in the 8-metre class while David Gower will be defending his 2013 win in the Daring Class as the current holder of the Loup Garou Model.
Other competitors to watch are Ado Jardine in the XODs, several times winner of the Captains Cup and 2011 overall winner. Alastair Ashford, also in the XODs and a former Captains Cup winner is from Antigua, and he will have his eye on the New Helm Trophy, among others. Roger Wickens will be competing in his Solent Sunbeam, following his overall win in 2011.
Well known yachting journalist Bob Fisher will be at the event in his Fife and Magnus Wheatley will be competing in his new Daring this year, racing with colleagues from Charles Stanley the title sponsors of the event.
Some of these yachts are over 100 years old but all are at the top of their game, and most are restored to immaculate condition.
Racing will be organised by the Royal London Yacht Club with support from the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Island Sailing Club and Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club.
The official charity this year is the Isle of Wight High Sheriff’s Trust.