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Cowes Week Sailing. News and Results from the Largest Regatta of its Kind in the World

#CowesWeek - RS Sailing released a statement expressing its members “deepest sadness” following the death of a sailor during Cowes Week on Friday (10 August).

The man in his 60s was thrown overboard from an RS Elite class yacht in Osborne Bay on Friday afternoon. He was picked up by a RIB and brought ashore but later pronounced dead at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends, many of whom were racing that day,” the statement from RS Sailing reads. “Those most closely involved could hardly have been more experienced or acted more proficiently. We salute them and their efforts.

“But accidents can happen in almost anything worthwhile that we do, and our lost friend would want us to sail on with a smile and keep on loving it as he was doing right up until tragedy struck.”

Published in Cowes Week

A sailor, rescued from the water at Osborne Bay earlier today, has died at Cowes Week

According to local sources, Emergency Services were called after a man in his 60s was thrown into the water from an RS Elite class yacht.

A witness said the man had been crewing the yacht before ending up in the water. He was picked up by a RIB and brought ashore.

The police said the man was taken to St Mary's Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

His death is not being treated as suspicious and investigations are ongoing.

Published in Cowes Week

#CowesWeek - Lendy Cowes Week organisers are seeking a new regatta director to replace the departed Phil Hagen.

The job is a year-round, part-time post with responsibility to evolve the on-the-water side of the regatta, in order to build upon Cowes Week’s prominent position on the global sailing calendar.

The organisers are looking for someone who is well-known on the yachting and racing circuit, has the vision to take the racing programme forward, and can work with existing and potential entrants, class associations and organising clubs to ensure the event offers the best possible competitive experience.

“Finding the right regatta director is crucial to continue evolving the event on-the-water,” said Peter Taylor, chair of Cowes Week Ltd. “This is a great opportunity for the incoming regatta director to really make their mark at one of the world’s premier regattas.”

The new regatta director will work as part of a small executive team and also with the member clubs of Cowes Combined Clubs through the regatta’s sailing committee.

The closing date for applications is Monday 6 November with interviews set to be held during the week commencing Monday 13 November.

Anyone interested in the role should request further details by emailing [email protected]

Published in Cowes Week

#CowesWeek - Maurice O’Connell and three other Irish sailing stalwarts are headed to the Isle of Wight to join the crew of Tschüss, Christian Zugel’s MAT 1180, for Cowes Week.

Navigator Ross Monson, boat captain and pit boss Johnny Mordant, Simon Johnson at bow and mainsheet trimmer O’Connell will be racing one of three MAT 1180s in the 16-boat IRC Zero fleet, alongside Leeloo from the Netherlands and strong debutante Gallivanter

But they won’t be the only ones to watch out for in a fleet that includes Piet Vroon’s Tonnere, Round the Island winner TP52 Gladiator and last year’s winner, Daniel Hardy’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa.

Other Irish at Cowes Week from this Saturday 29 July to 5 August include Damian Foxall, the Kerry offshore veteran on deck with Vestas 11th Hour for the Round the Island as part of preparations for the next Volvo Ocean Race.

Published in Cowes Week

The official launch of Cowes United, a brand new Committee Boat for Cowes, took place on 13th May on Trinity Landing opposite the Royal London Yacht Club. Ben Rouse, High Sheriff of the Island, made an amusing speech and dedication. a post on the cowes Yacht Haven Facebook page gives details about how the new Committee Vessel came about.

This purpose-built catamaran is a state-of-the art Committee Boat, and is fully equipped to a very high standard; it is made available by the generosity of David & Patsy Franks. David's speech disclosed his dream that Ben Ainslie representing Britain and the Royal Yacht Squadron would bring the cup home and then select this new boat as the Committee Boat for the 2019 competition in the Solent. The six clubs which together form Cowes Combined Clubs (Royal London, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Thames, Royal Yacht Squadron, Island Sailing Club and Cowes Corinthian) have already booked the boat for some of their racing this season.

It will be used at many major events including Cowes Week, Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classic Week, IRC Nationals, Telegraph Bowl, Silicon Cup, and Royal Thames Etchells Invitational for the Gertrude Cup.

The boat is supported by help from the Cowes Harbour Commissioners. Joliffes Chandlery in Cowes, B&G and Spinlock have been particularly generous as sponsors. Cowes United will be used for many youth sailing events supported by Cowes Yacht Haven and Red Funnel, who have both been very generous in their support.

Graham Sunderland of Winning Tides fame has masterfully navigated the project through to completion making over 35 modifications, and ably assisted by Kevin Downer and Steve Coles. Bob Milner's experienced eye and contributions from Stuart Childerley, Peter Taylor and Cowes Week Director Phil Hagen have also been very significant in achieving the success of this project.

Cowes United is available to all clubs which use the Solent, for racing and for corporate events.

Published in Cowes Week

Cowes Week, organisers of one of the world's best-known sailing regattas, have announced the introduction of a new big boat race series, the Cowes Week Triple Crown.

The new Cowes Week Triple Crown will be a regatta within a regatta: open to large IRC rated racing boats of at least 20m LOA with a minimum TCC of 1.500 and up to 36m LOA. A series of three races will take place on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Cowes Week, with the final race being an Around the Island Race, giving participating boats the opportunity to mount record-breaking circumnavigation attempts.

With a potentially wide range of boats expected to enter, from out-and-out racing boats to cruiser-racers, three classes will compete for the Triple Crown: Maxi-Racer Class; Cruiser-Racer Class and an Ocean-Racer Class.

Three of the sailing world's most historic and prestigious trophies will be awarded to the three classes:

- The Queen's Cup, presented to the Royal Southampton Yacht Club by Queen Victoria in 1897;

- The King George V International Cup (also known as the White Heather Cup) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, a huge flagon that was awarded for the 23 metre class in 1911 and won by White Heather II

- Royal Yacht Squadron's King's Cup 1920 which was presented by King George V in 1920 for a race for yachts exceeding 100 tons.

The overall winner of the three races will be presented with the Triple Crown trophy. The innovative Triple Crown idea may attract similar competitions in Ireland where there is an array of ancient trophies available for repurposing. 

Published in Cowes Week

#Offshore - Alan Hannon’s Reichel-Pugh 45 Katsu has emerged best of the three Irish entrants at fifth overall in the 400-mile RORC Cowes-Wolf Rock-Ile d’Ouessant (Ushant)-St Malo Race, which started on Sunday 14 August in the Solent to round out Cowes Week 2016, and experienced a wide range of speeds for the diverse fleet of 45 boats, writes W M Nixon.

Line honours at the French port of St Malo, with its famous fortified harbour, were taken late on Monday afternoon by the MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo 3 (Lloyd Thornburg), with the current Round Ireland record holder managing to stay ahead of sister ship Concise (Ned Collier Wakefield).

But while the big trimarans were comfortably finished after only one night at sea, the easterly breeze was fading and the smaller tail-enders – including the 1976 Half Ton (when Harold Cudmore-skippered) World Champion Silver Shamrock (Stuart Greenfield) – were only finishing today, with the famous Shamrock finally crossing the line at 9:05 this morning, thereby ending up with four nights at sea before they could relax in hospitable St Malo.

RORC Ouessant race trackerSo near and yet so far: the main part of the RORC fleet crowded on the race tracker in light airs off St Malo at 1830 yesterday evening as they struggled to finish the 400-mile race from Cowes via Wolf Rock and Ouessant

The vintage Swan 37 Xara (Jonathan Rolls), which had been overall leader at lunchtime Tuesday when she’d been down off Ouessant, finally completed at 3:24 this morning to register 22nd overall, while Silver Shamrock was 24th.

As expected here yesterday, it was Eric de Turckheim’s wonderful A13 Teasing Machine that won overall by a margin of 3 hours and 20 minutes from the German Ker 46 Shakti, a result which, when combined with her second overall in the Volvo Round Ireland back in June, will be making the Machine a challenger for the RORC Points Championship.

It was a good race for northerner Alan Hannon, as Katsu was fifth overall and by taking second in Class 1 astern of Teasing Machine, she was one place better than the  First 44.7 Lisa which, under Michael Boyd’s command, was one place ahead of her in the Round Ireland.

Michael Boyd, Commodore of the RORC, was meanwhile racing his new JPK 10.80 Audrey round Ushant, and in a private battle with the third Irish entry, Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 3600 Bam!, Audrey was to have it by just 20 minutes to make them 9th and 11th overall respectively, while their placings in IRC 3 were 3rd and 4th.

KatsuAlan Hannon’s RP 45 Katsu shortly after the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race at Wicklow in June, when she finished 4th overall

Published in Offshore

Cowes Week, one of the UK's longest running and most successful sporting events, has been given a boost this week with the announcement that Aberdeen Asset Management has agreed to support the sailing regatta for one more year in 2016 - adding a final chapter to their Cowes Week story.

Aberdeen's original five year title sponsorship commitment of Cowes Week came to end after the 2015 regatta. The support offered to Cowes Week Limited from Aberdeen Asset Management can be seen as a sign of Aberdeen's desire to ensure the 2016 instalment of Cowes Week is just as successful as previous years.

Cowes Week, which is looking to secure a new title sponsor for 2017 and beyond, has evolved enormously since its beginning in 1826 and now has between 800 and 1,000 boats competing in up to forty different classes in early August each year. Around 8,000 competitors now participate, ranging from Olympic yachtsmen to weekend sailors, and the event attracts over 100,000 visitors to Cowes for what is one of the highlights of the British social and sporting calendar.

Along with Aberdeen Asset Management, local businesses, yacht clubs and supporting sponsors have worked together with Cowes Week Limited to guarantee the success of this year's regatta and to help the event attract a new sponsor from 2017 onwards. Racing will be as exciting and competitive as ever, and there will be a buzzing shoreside scene for both competitors and visitors to enjoy.

Published in Cowes Week

Phil Hagen has been appointed Regatta Director of Cowes Week. Phil takes the reins from Stuart Quarrie, who retired following this year's regatta in August.

Phil is no stranger to Cowes Week, having started as a course setter 11 years ago. After four years he progressed to Course-Setting Coordinator, responsible for the planning and management of the course setting and race progress teams. Phil is an experienced yacht racer and has competed in many European events in a wide range of yachts including helming in the 6 metre and Farr 45 classes and race navigation on a 135ft Classic.

Phil is also a qualified race officer and has run a number of national championships in the Solent. In 1998, as Project Director, he was responsible for the planning, PR and operational delivery of the Cable & Wireless Adventurer, a successful round the world record attempt by a motor vessel. The success and record of 72 days still hold today.

Phil will join the team in early October and replaces Stuart Quarrie who, after seventeen years with CWL, has departed to spend more time racing and cruising with his family.

Published in Cowes Week

#Cowesweek –  The organisers of the world famous Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week regatta are seeking a new Sailing Director to replace Stuart Quarrie, who will retire following this year's regatta in August.

The Sailing Director role is a full time post, and carries a responsibility to retain and further develop Cowes Week's position as a "must-do" regatta on the global sailing calendar. The organisers are looking for someone who is well-known on the yachting and racing circuit, has the vision to take the regatta forward and can work with existing and potential entrants, class associations and organising clubs to ensure the event offers the best possible racing experience.

The new Sailing Director will work as part of a small executive team and also with the member clubs of Cowes Combined Clubs through the regatta's Sailing Committee. An attractive package is available to the right person, with a salary of c£50k, depending on experience. The closing date for applications is 7th April 2015 and it is anticipated that interviews will be held during the week commencing 20th April. The successful candidate will start in July 2015, gaining some experience of this year's regatta, before taking over from Stuart in August.

Anyone interested in the role should request further details from Peter Dickson, Chairman of CWL, at [email protected]

Published in Cowes Week
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