P1070142 - CopyOne of the first events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2016 was a preview showing  the latest works available at Kendalls Fine Art. New to this gallery one of the exhibitors Kim Jarvis was on the Island for a few days, having been invited to show her work in Cowes.

Kim lives in Gloucestershire but also has a cottage on the Scottish coast where she can undertake paintings for her preference of rugged coastal scenes, with accurately reproduced colours. Kim has recently become a member of the RSMA (marine artists) whose Vice President Martin Swan is Island born as well as being a resident here. One of Martin’s marine paintings was also exhibited at this preview.

One of Kim’s exhibits was painted in rainy conditions which she hopes she has managed to convey in the work by showing the atmosphere of the day.

Family Day was well supported with Swallows & Amazons coming to town  prior to the general release of the new film on 19th August, as well as the Cardboard Boat Race, supported by Wight Fibre, which was raising money for local charity UKSA.

This year the Red Funnel Giant Wheel relocated to Shepards Wharf Marina from Northwood House Park. Evening trade was reported as being up at the new site and with different views from the wheel of the Island the new venue proved popular. It afforded panoramic viewing of the yacht racing across the Solent and beyond as well as views up the River Medina to Newport and all over the town of Cowes.

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Renowned Round the World sailor Dee Caffari was in Cowes during the regatta as an ambassador for one of the sponsors- Sunsail. Her year commenced with a BVI Catamaran sailing Holiday where, Dee being Dee and always competitive, found it difficult at first to relax and enjoy. However she soon got the hang of how a Sunsail holiday can work!

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Each day of Cowes Week Sunsail had its own sailing races with all competitors on board Sunsail First 40s. Overall winner of the Sunsail class on Tuesday was CyberArk-the forth different winner in four days. Skipper Matt Middleton-Leal lives in Gurnard and started sailing at the tender age of nine.

During the week he works for CyberArk in London but when back on the Island is a member of Gurmard sailing Club and the RORC. His big aim is to undertake the Fastnet Race one day. Altogether CyberArk clocked up four wins being victorious on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well as Tuesday.

Other crews with local connections included the crew from Red Funnel who were in the top-six places every day including a win on Sunday. CEO Kevin George sailed some days.

At the Sunsail prizegivings during the week there were several special events.  On Wednesday General Manager Stuart Farquharson announced that the company had placed an order for 128 new boats-a real boost for the British Marine Industry. Rich Hurley the Commodore of the Deloitte Sailing Club was recognised as the 500,000th Sunsail customer. He was presented with a certificate and other gifts by Paralympics sailor Helena Lucas who is soon setting off to Rio.

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Deloitte not only take part in a number of sailing events in the UK and elsewhere but train members of their staff who want to take up sailing. Another addition to Sunsail Holidays is the expansion of their base in Palma, Majorca with the addition of 20 boats.  Flavours of Spain were enjoyed at the prizegiving.

At the Slingsby Gin sponsored Ladies Day Trophy presentation event it was announced that there were a number of nominations and the worthy winner was Hannah Stodel who competes in the Sonar Class. She almost missed the presentation as she was involved in a race protest meeting. Hannah will sail a Sonar as part of Team GB at the upcoming Paralympics in Rio. She said that in being selected as the winner of the Ladies Day Trophy had given her a great boost for the Paralympics campaign. She particularly paid tribute to her mother who has helped her over the years in her sailing career.

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Coincidently it was Cowes sailmaker Andy Cassell who did much to popularise the Sonar Class, winning Gold when the Sonar Class was a demonstration event.

Another nominee at Ladies Day was Mary Rook a national Nacra champion and who was the second British woman in this year’s La Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro which included a stopover in Cowes in June.

Everyone at the Slingsby event had the chance to try the Rhubarb version of their Gin which is a delicate shade of red and is 40% proof. Last year Slingsby launched their Navy Strength at 57% proof.

On Wednesday HRH The Duke of Edinburgh undertook an official tour of Cowes including a visit to Northwood House to meet the volunteers who look after the house and gardens. Three volunteers  used their volunteering skills at Northwood House to complete the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and were introduced to the Duke.

Hugo Crawford, James Fountaine and James Stevens who completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards whilst attending Ryde School said that they had enjoyed helping at Northwood House. They also spoke of their other D of E achievements including their expeditions. Hugo, the oldest of the trio, is due to attend the presentation of his Gold Certificate at St. James’ Palace shortly.

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This year’s AAM Cowes Week Regatta witnessed the end of an era when Dick Johnson, the on-the-water commentator for Cowes Radio, decided to retire after some thirty years.

It was Dick along with Steve Ancsell from Airwaves who founded Cowes Radio all those years ago. Originally Dick conducted his commentary from the RYS platform bur more recently has been taking to the water in his, now famous, rib.