• Skandia Cowes Week 2007

    Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007
  • Skandia Cowes Week 2007

When it comes to hosting the world’s biggest sailing stars and bringing big boat glamour and excitement to competitors and spectators, this year is no exception. To coincide with the Rolex Fastnet Race, the biennial institution that lures the big guns to Cowes in early August, CCC, under the guiding hand of regatta director Stuart Quarrie, is running a newly created IRC Class 0 Big Boat Series during Skandia Cowes Week 2007.

This year also marks Skandia’s 13th year as the title sponsor of Cowes Week, and during this time the Event has witnessed some very positive changes. Skandia’s long-term investment - both financially and in terms of the time they put in working with the Event’s organising committee at Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) - has helped to make Skandia Cowes Week a world-renowned success, both on and off the water.

Skandia Cowes Week 2007
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Skandia Cowes Week 2007


Skandia’s commitment to sailing as a sport in general has also worked to the benefit of the Event, adding glamour, offshore sailing heroes and Olympic stars to the mix of competition, fun and excitement. CCC will continue to work closely with Skandia throughout the remaining two years of its sponsorship to ensure that the eclectic mix of components that make this 181-year old regatta the best in the world is maintained in preparation for heralding a new era in 2009.

Racing starts early for the new IRC Class 0 Big Boat Series

Cowes Combined Clubs has taken the lead in separating out the large boats, and especially those with canting keels, from the mainstream fleet.

Any boat of over 45 ft. LOA with a rating of over 1.420, as well as any boat over 45 ft. LOA with a canting keel (regardless of rating), will only be eligible to race in a new IRC Class 0 Series at this year’s regatta. Recognising that the majority of the larger boats are only able to accommodate a few days racing into their schedule prior to the start of the Rolex Fastnet, the new series will take place over three days and will form part of a larger series incorporating both the Channel Race and Rolex Fastnet Race for the prestigious Seahorse Magazine Trophy.

Skandia Cowes Week 2007
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Skandia Cowes Week 2007


The first race, on Friday 3 August – the day before the remaining classes start their Week - will be tight round-the-cans event with the start and finish from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. This is designed to allow some great short-course racing for these super-fast boats without them having to contend with the remaining 1,000+ strong fleet.

The second race, on Wednesday 8 August, is scheduled to be a 50-mile sprint around the Island. As part of this race, the Open 60s among the fleet will race for a prize fund of 19,616 USD (with the cash being donated to the winning team’s charity of choice) and a trophy - both of which have been donated by Artemis and will be awarded to the first Open 60 to cross the line. Artemis is one of the UK’s leading investment companies. With an established business relationship with Skandia, it is equally passionate about performance both on and off the water.

The final race, on Thursday 9 August, is scheduled to be a short coastal race, probably out of the Solent to the west in order to give the skippers and crews a foretaste of the early stages of the Rolex Fastnet Race which starts on Sunday 12 August.

Skandia Cowes Week 2007
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Skandia Cowes Week 2007


With the introduction of the new big-boat series, the organisers and sponsors of Skandia Cowes Week are hoping for close racing between the biggest, most expensive and exciting yachts competing on the global circuit. Indeed the series is already a talking point among the largest and fastest boats, as the new IRC Class 0 also meets the demands of the owners of mainstream Class 1 boats to separate canting keelers from boats with fixed keels.


Further trials for tracking devices

Following the very successful small-scale trial with tracking devices on twenty of the VW Touareg Laser SB3 fleet in 2006, CCC is hoping to take this to the next stage in 2007. Organisers are working with a company called ProSail to enable a further trial.

CCC’s aim is to eventually have accurate tracking devices on all boats competing at the Event, although how soon this might happen is hard to predict. The necessary technology is improving all the time and is getting cheaper every year. Looking to the future, and once a full system is in place, it will allow a range of things to happen. For example, via the web, spectators will enjoy a truly interactive experience of the Week. In addition, race officers will know where fleets and/or individual boats are at any given moment, giving a safer environment and allowing much better management of shortening course requirements. The finishes will be timed automatically, and most general recalls will be eliminated since both the race officers and competitors will know which boats were OCS.

Strategy survey results

The detailed survey that was conducted last year showed that, whilst around 40% of entrants were in favour of splitting Cowes Week into separate modern and classic weeks, the majority felt that continuing with an inclusive single week was the best way forward. Thus the basic format of the regatta is not going to change. However, a significant number of other useful suggestions and views were received, and many of these are either being incorporated into the Event or are being considered by CCC.

Skandia Cowes Week 2007
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Skandia Cowes Week 2007


Class amalgamation

As part of the detailed review of the issues faced by Skandia Cowes Week as a result of its continuing huge success, CCC has looked closely at the classes being offered racing.

We all want the Event to remain inclusive so that anyone from World Champions and Olympians to family weekend racers can enjoy the Regatta. However, the race organisers also need to be careful that the number of classes being offered their own racing does not increase so much that they can’t manage the fleet properly, whilst at the same time allowing new classes to be properly dealt with as they emerge.

CCC has therefore taken the decision to amalgamate the Sigma 33, Sigma 38 and ISCRS classes into the mainstream IRC fleet. This will allow the expansion of the number of IRC classes by one, giving closer rating bands, whilst actually reducing the overall number of classes. Any entrants from within these classes who have raced at Skandia Cowes Week for at least the last two years, and who do not have an IRC certificate, are invited to apply in writing to CCC for a one-off free certificate for 2007.

Pre-book your on-water spectator boat experience

Last year’s introduction of a spectator boat service in partnership with Solent Cruises was a huge hit, and the Event is again laying on this service through Solent Cruises running from Trinity Landing on Cowes Parade. New for this year is the online advance booking service via the Event website. Ticket prices and a booking form will be online from June.

Skandia Cowes Week 2007
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Skandia Cowes Week 2007


New Lymington-Cowes ferry service for competitors

In partnership with Blue Funnel Cruises, CCC is delighted to announce the introduction of a dedicated ferry service for competitors during Skandia Cowes Week 2007. The service will operate from Sat 4 – Sat 11 August between the Lymington Town Harbour Master’s Jetty (next to the Lymington Town Sailing Club and Harbour Master’s Office) and Trinity Landing, Cowes.

Tickets will cost 29.42 USD for a return and 15.69 USD for a single. An 8-day ticket will also be available for 210.91 USD.

Source: www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk

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