Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2012 offered some amazing racing conditions for the majority of the yachts at the regatta with sunshine as well as good breeze. This popular event drew to a successful close at Saturday night’s overall prize-giving, as trophies were received by successful sailors belonging to all the classes.
Commenting on the Week, Stuart Quarrie, regatta CEO, said: “The variety of conditions during the Week made for some exciting and challenging racing. The southerly winds we saw for much of the Week made it more complicated in the shifty conditions for both the sailors and for the course-setters who were forced to set beats and runs across the tide, where even a small variation in wind can disrupt the best laid plans!”
Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management said: “We at Aberdeen have enjoyed another successful Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The event clearly caught the tide of excitement, inclusivity and sporting endeavour created by the London 2012 Olympics, as competitors, spectators and those new to Cowes and sailing all played their part in producing an energetic atmosphere both on and offshore. We pass on our appreciation to the competitors, organisers and spectators alike for making this year’s event truly memorable.”
One of the highlights of the Week was the close competition between the under 25 year-olds racing for the newly introduced Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25’s Trophy. The trophy was won by William Goldsmith on the J/80 Exess following a series of second places in her class throughout the Week and a win on Thursday. William (19) from Maldon, Essex is a member of the British Keelboat Academy and last sailed at the regatta two years ago. Commenting on the team’s win and the week’s racing, William said: “It has been a fantastic week and to win this trophy is unbelievable. It makes all our hard work to get here, really worthwhile.”
The Young Skipper’s Trophy was hotly contested this year with Squib sailor Fred Warren-Smith – who has won the trophy for the last 2 years – narrowly missing out on the prize to IRC Class 2’s Andrew Sinclair (19) racing Trustmarque Quokka.
The largest class at the 2012 regatta was once again the 83 boat-strong XOD Class. The class was won by the 2010 winner Catherine, raced by Stephen & Peter Lawrence and Paddy Smart who also had the best result overall across the four Westmacott one-design classes at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week (Seaview Mermaid, Solent Sunbeams, XODs and Victorys). This meant that they also won the Westmacott Trophy, awarded by the Royal Naval and Royal Albert Yacht Club.
IRC Class Zero, saw some close sailing throughout the week with Powerplay and Pace, on occasion being separated by just one second on corrected time at the top of the leaderboard. While Powerplay won the class overall, it was Pace that claimed the highly prized Britannia Cup and New York Yacht Club Challenge Trophy for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s races.
On Thursday, the round the Island record was smashed by more than 10 minutes when the MOD 70 one-design trimaran yacht Foncia, skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux, established a new record of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds while racing in the Artemis Challenge.
The overall winner of White Group was the Redwing Harlequin who pipped Squib Lady Penelope to the post. Coincidentally, the overall Black Group trophy went to a J/109 also called Harlequin. Jointly owned by Jonathan Calascione and Jonny Goodwin, Harlequin also sealed victory as the overall winner of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2012.
Ashore there was a vibrant atmosphere with a strong line-up of après-sail parties throughout the week. Family Day took place on Sunday 12 August and was a great success and many families came to Cowes to enjoy the special activities for the day. Ladies Day on Thursday 16 August saw Annie O’Sullivan of Girls For Sail win the coveted Ladies Day Trophy for her efforts over the last 13 years in getting more women into the sport of sailing. Joining the Best of British Celebrations on Friday 17 August were Skandia Team GBR just one week after representing Great Britain in the sailing events at Weymouth. They received a warm welcome from members of the public who had lots of opportunities to meet and talk with some of the heroes of sailing. The day was rounded-off by the traditional fireworks display, heralded by many as the best ever. Donations to the display are still possible on the event website.
For those feeling euphoric at the end of a great week of racing, entries for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2013 are now open. The regatta dates are 3-10 August and anyone entering before the end of 2012 will be entered into a prize draw to win a rebate of the entry fee; a £1,000 contribution towards berthing fees, courtesy of the four main mooring providers of East Cowes Marina, Shepards Wharf Marina, Cowes Harbour Moorings and Cowes Yacht Haven; a £75 bar tab at Shepards Wharf Marina; Sperry Top-Sider performance shoes for the entire crew; ‘5 of the best’ products from Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare; 2 x 70cl 10 year old bottles of Talisker and 12 rocking glasses; a 25L Gill dry bag for the entire crew; and a sea survival course, courtesy of Ondeck.
Organisers of the regatta are inviting feedback to help build on the success of this year’s event. The online survey can be accessed via the regatta’s official website.