Cowes Week 2011

One of the world's most spectacular sailing regattas, Cowes Week, is celebrating its 185th year.

Below are all the events going on!

A day for the whole family – Sunday 7 August

To help parents and children get the most out of their time at the regatta, a range of family-friendly activities and group offers have been introduced exclusively for Family Day which will take place, for the first time, on Sunday 7 August. The special free events include:

A children’s flag-making competition (11am – 2pm) in the Ondeck VIP area at Cowes Yacht Haven.
Viewings aboard the iconic Gipsy Moth IV off Trinity Landing (11am – 2pm).
Viewing aboard the Sea Cadets training ship, TS John Jerwood, off Trinity Landing (1pm – 5pm)
Remote-controlled model-boat racing (5pm – 7pm) off Trinity Landing, Cowes Parade.
A village fete throughout the day at Northwood Park.
“Wonders of the Universe” stargazing evening courtesy of the Islands own astronomer (9.30pm – 10.30pm). Arrive from 7pm for canapés and cocktails from the pay bar at Northwood House.
Spot prizes awarded on the water to families racing together, courtesy of Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare and Bainbridge International.
In addition, hour-long sailing lessons with the UKSA are available to families of four for a special discounted price of just £15 on Family Day (book at the Try Sailing Unit on Cowes Parade).

More adventurous families can enjoy a “Rock up and RIB” outing with Ondeck who are offering a special discounted ticket price of £95 for a family of four, or, for a slower-paced spectator experience, the spectator boat service has a significantly discounted family ticket price of £20 for 2 adults and 2 children, exclusively for Family Day.

Ladies Day, in association with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation - Tuesday 9 August

For the last five years, Ladies Day at Cowes Week has provided a celebration of the outstanding successes of women in sailing. This year, a partnership with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation continues that tradition but also recognises the wider achievements of the country’s sportswomen and a number of personalities from across the world of sport will be in Cowes in support of the Ladies Day celebrations. 

The main focus of the Ladies Day celebrations will be an evening reception on the Pier at Shepards Wharf Marina during which the Ladies Day Trophy will be presented - an award that recognises an outstanding contribution, commitment or achievement of a woman in sailing. Nominations for the Ladies Day Trophy can be made on the event website ( until midnight on Friday 5 August.

Ladies Day also features a range of celebratory activities for women, including:

-          On-the-spot prizes awarded at random out on the water to female sailors.

-          10% discount on all Gill purchases for female shoppers in the Aquatogs store in Cowes as well as at the Gill retail unit at Cowes Yacht Haven.

-          Free entry to Club Infernos for ladies before 00:30 (subject to capacity).

Toe in the Water Curry Night – Wednesday 10 August

A crew curry night will be held at Shepards Wharf Marina on Wednesday 10 August. Island Ales have brewed a special ‘Toe in the Water’ ale which is available at the Toe in the Water Crew Bar, and chefs from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment will provide the food and military pipers! Tickets are available by emailing

The Official Mount Gay Red Cap Party – Thursday 11 August

The infamous Mount Gay Red Cap party will take place on Thursday 11 August at Shepards Wharf Marina at which there will be a chance to gain one of the most cherished mementoes of any regatta - the coveted Mount Gay Red Cap! A free Red Cap will be given to the first 500 people to buy a ticket and tickets will be available from the Toe in the Water Crew Bar at Shepards for just £5.

TALISKER® Single Malt Scotch Whisky Presents the World’s First Ever Sail-In Cinema – Friday 12 August

TALISKER, the Single Malt Scotch Whisky-Made by the Sea, is hosting the world’s first Sail-In Cinema off Cowes Esplanade at 7pm on Friday 12 August.

The screening of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World will be shown on a giant screen and boats arriving in the Solent just off Cowes for the fireworks will be able to enjoy this unique form of entertainment. The choice of film was selected by Facebook fans and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week competitors.

Fireworks – Friday 12 August

A highlight of the event each year is the world-renowned fireworks, which take place on the final Friday of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Tens of thousands of spectators enjoy the spectacular display over the Solent.

Both the event organisers, Cowes Week Limited, and Aberdeen Asset Management as the title sponsor of the event have committed sizeable contributions to the display this year. However, additional funds are still needed, and a fundraising campaign involving the local community continues to work hard to secure funding. Donations can be made securely online at and any surplus funds will contribute towards the 2011 display.

Racing is being provided for some of the largest and most glamorous boats in the world as they arrive in Cowes for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Boats between 18.2m and 30.5m LOA with a TCC of greater than 1.4 will race within a mini-series - the Big Boat Series - over three days of the regatta (Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11). 

A mobile-friendly version of the event website has been created to give smartphone users instant access to results, news, start times, courses and entertainment schedules during the regatta.

Smartphone users will simply need to go to and will be automatically taken to the mobile version of the site.

There are several special events planned:

The XOD Centenary sees a staggering 145 boats entered in the class. This is by far the largest single fleet to have ever raced at the event and smashes the record of largest fleet size previously held by the Laser SB3's by over 60%! The XOD fleet will hold a 'regatta within the regatta' on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with HRH The Princess Royal expected to fire the start gun for the XODs on Thursday 11 August. There are many celebratory plans throughout the week in support of this remarkable milestone for the Class. Details can be found at under the entertainment schedule.

The Contessa 32 Class celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Class celebrations will take place throughout Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, with various social events after racing and a special allcomers` anniversary race on Sunday 7 August.

In addition to the traditional fleets racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, there are a number of other events:

The Extreme Sailing Series (Saturday 6 - Friday 12 August):  The Solent will once again play host to the only UK stop, for the fifth consecutive year, on the global nine-event Extreme Sailing Series™. Twelve Extreme 40 catamarans, with world-renowned sailors from 15 nationalities, will line-up on 6 August for seven days of high-octane 'stadium sailing' action the circuit has become renowned for. In 2011, Cowes Week title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management , will have their own entry into the Series skippered by British Olympic 49er class contender John Pink.

Artemis Challenge (Wednesday 10 August):  The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is now in its sixth year and will see a fleet of five IMOCA 60s racing around the Isle of Wight, following the original America's Cup route, raising money for good causes.  Every year Artemis Investment Management donates a charity prize fund of £10,000 for the race, which goes to a charity of the winner's choice.  Whilst the IMOCA 60 skippers are used to racing alone or with just one co-skipper, they will be joined for the Artemis Challenge by an experienced racing crew and some special celebrity guests who will this year include Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham.

The Artemis Challenge will start at 10am off the Royal Yacht Squadron on Wednesday 10 August.

About Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week:

* Cowes Week is one of the longest running events in UK sporting history having first taken place in 1826.
* Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is an inclusive, aspirational sailing regatta; the largest of its kind in the world.
* Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week attracts around 1,000 yachts in up to 40 classes, and 8,500 competitors ranging from weekend sailors through to Olympic medallists and World Champions.
* Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has a lively festival atmosphere ashore with a broad range of social activities that provide an exciting and varied "après-sail" programme.
* The official event website for all the latest news and information is:
* Follow the event on Facebook: