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Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 Photography Competition

July 31, 2014

Following its successful launch last year, Aberdeen Asset Management is delighted to announce the continuation of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Photography Competition at the 2014 regatta, running from August 2 to 9. This year, the competition includes the all-new Instagram category.

Winning shot of Shore-side competition (c) Peter Rivon

Winning shot of Shore-side competition (c) Peter Rivon

The photography competition is open to all spectators, competitors and budding photographers at the regatta, encouraging all event participants to share their own experiences both online and through their smartphones. The challenge for entrants is to capture Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week through the theme of ‘the spirit of the regatta’ in three competition categories, with an additional fourth category for an Instagram #Sailfie competition.

Entrants to the Shore-side, On-the-Water and Under 18 categories will be able to submit their images through the official Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week website and will be in with a chance of winning a £250 photography equipment voucher.

–              Shore-side: Capturing the festival atmosphere and ‘spirit of the regatta’ ashore.

–            On-the-Water: Capturing the diverse fleets, competitive racing action and ‘spirit of the regatta’ afloat.

–              Under 18: A dedicated category designed to support up-and-coming photography talent.

The Instagram competition, which will run through the official Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Instagram page (@cowes_week) asks entrants to include a #Sailfie image – a play on the word ‘selfie’ – with a nautical theme to be in with the chance of winning a fantastic Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week hamper at the end of the week.

Double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson, will be joined by representatives from Aberdeen Asset Management and Cowes Week Limited for judging the competition entries in all categories, along with professional sailing photographer, Alan Crowhurst.

Commenting on the announcement, Jill Maxwell, Head of Sponsorship at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “One of Aberdeen Asset Management’s objectives through sponsorship is to make the events we are involved with as accessible to competitors and visitors as possible. By continuing the success of last year’s photography competition, with the addition of a new Instagram category, we hope that all visitors to the regatta will engage with Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week through the sharing of photography. As we all know, pictures can paint a thousand words, so we are really looking forward to seeing how different people capture their experiences of the event.”

The main competition will be open for entries until Saturday 16 August, whilst the Instagram category will be close at the conclusion of the regatta, 09 August.

The final day of racing at Panerai British Classic Week 2014

July 21, 2014

The last day of racing at this year’s Panerai British Classic Week could not have been more exciting as the winners of all classes were announced.  The Race Committee sent the yachts on an amazing course that zigzagged around the Central Solent in a moderate southwesterly wind. For some, who were in with a chance of victory, it was tense and exciting competing, while others simply enjoyed the fun of one final sail in the company of their fellow classic yacht enthusiasts.

Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge  2014 Day 6 - Photo by Guido Cantini /

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 6 - Photo by Guido Cantini /

The results went down to count back in two of the five classes.  Sean McMillan’s Flight of Ufford won the last race in Class 1 by a mere nine seconds from Stephen O”Flaherty’s Soufriere with Michael Hough’s Chloe in third.  Once the discard was taken into account Flight and Soufriere both ended the day on nine points.  Soufriere had four wins to her name compared with Flight of Ufford’s two, making Soufriere the overall winner with Flight second and Chloe third.  Despite the disappointment of loosing by such a close margin Flight of Ufford’s Sean McMillan was nonetheless a very happy man saying; “I have been racing yachts for 40 years and I have never had such an enjoyable regatta as this!”

Class 4 also came down to an extremely close finish on the water and a count back overall.  In race seven Jonathan and Scilla Dyke’s Cereste beat Michael Briggs’ Mikado by forty-one seconds with Robert Veale’s Danegeld in third place.  That put both Cereste and Mikado on 10 points overall and this time the count back decision went to Mikado.  Third place overall went to Danegeld.  “We won it by just nine seconds!” exclaimed a thrilled Michael Briggs as he came in to check the results.  “We’ve done it!  Hurrah!  We’ve been sailing our tails off all week and it’s finally been worth it!” added Mikado crewmember Benjamin Pickersgill.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Winner - Photo by Guido Cantini /

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Winner - Photo by Guido Cantini /

In Class 2 Esben Poulsson and Ed Duboissailing yacht Firebrand took her third race win of the week, beating Jamie Mattheson’s Opposition with David Murrin’s Cetewayo third.  The win cemented Firebrand’s overall victory in Class 2 by a three-point margin from Opposition, with Cetewayo third by just a single point.  British Classic Yacht Club (BCYC) Commodore David Murrin was philosophical about his third place saying;  “It’s been lovely to be out on the water.  The racing outcome hasn’t been brilliant for us, but everything else has been fantastic.”

Going into the final race Christine and Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper had already secured the top step of the podium in Class 3, but they sailed once again for the sheer joy of it and added an impressive seventh win to their scorecard. Sam Laidlaw and Rob Gray’s Clarionet and Andy King’s Gluckauf had gone into the day tied on points for second so the outcome of race seven and the introduction of the discard was crucial to both boats.  Clarionet gave their all to take second place in the race, but Gluckauf was hard on her heels finishing third, which meant that overall it was Gluckauf second and Clarionet third.

The 8 Metre result also hung in the balance this morning as Rufus Gilday of Saskia acknowledged; “Last year we had it sewn up at this stage, but this year it’s going right down to the wire.”  In race seven victory went to Christopher Courage’s Helen with Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia second and David Myatt’s Erica third.  Overall Saskia won the 8 Metre Class by two points with Helen second and Athena third by a single point.

Whilst racing is an important part of the regatta, it is not the only focus and the event is as much about celebrating these beautiful historic yachts as it is about the competition.  Maintaining the boats in such wonderful condition is a labour of love for the owners and crews and their role in preserving the boats, many of which have fascinating histories, is vital.

The Panerai British Classic Week Prize Giving Dinner is an opportunity to recognize both the racing victors and to present a number of very special awards, with the overall presentations being made by Amandine Rohmer of Panerai UK.

The Je Ne Sais Quoi Trophy, for the boat with that certain something special as voted for by the competitors, was awarded to James Kelman’s 1947 Henry Dervin designed cutter Croix des Gardes.

The Stiff Drink Trophy, a silver hip flask donated by Spirit Yachts, is awarded to the competitor who, in the opinion of the BCYC Committee, got into the most close shaves and therefore needs a stiff drink.  This year’s winner for a number of close shaves was David Murrin’s Cetewayo, a 1955 Laurent Giles 7/8 fractional sloop.

The Lallow Cup is awarded to the best-presented new entrant and this year went to David Messum’s stunning 1939 HG May designed Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet, Nausicaa.

There was absolutely no argument about who should win this year’s Seamanship Award donated by Classic Boat.  To thunderous applause, the crew of Spirit 52 Chloe, came to the stage to receive the trophy for their outstanding feat of seamanship in recovering man overboard David Pitman in less three minutes, under sail, in very rough conditions off St Catherine’s Point during the Around the Island Race.

Each of the individual Class winners received not only their trophies but also a Panerai Plate.  And finally and most importantly of all the Panerai British Classic Week Overall Trophy for the best performing yacht in the three combined fleet races (races, 2, 4 and 6), was presented to Christine and Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper, a 1939 Laurent Giles one off sloop.  Giovanni and Christine invited their entire crew to the stage to share in the adulation of their fellow sailors and to receive their prizes, which included not only the trophy but also a Panerai Instrument.

The regatta concluded with the Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00.  Panerai British Classic Week 2015 will take place from 18 to 25 July 2015.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014: Day 4

July 17, 2014

With five races now concluded, the rankings are tightening up at the currently running Panerai British Classic Week 2014. Day four of the regatta saw one class race as well as the traditional Ladies Race, which demonstrated to be just as exciting as the class races.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 4 - Photo by Guido Cantini

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 4 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

The day started hot and sunny but almost windless so a postponement was announced and the fleet was held ashore until noon, giving plenty of time for everyone to enjoy the fabulous hospitality of the Panerai Lounge. By the time the fleet got to the start area the wind was already building to around 10 knots and Race Officer John Grandy sent the classes running to the east for a good romp around the Central Solent.

Once again the battle for supremacy in Class 1 was fierce. Today, Ireland’s Stephen O’Flaherty and his crew aboard Soufriere got the upper hand, beating Sean McMillan’s Flight of Ufford with Chloe, owned by Michael Hough, in third. Soufriere’s win today closes up the overall rankings in the class nicely with Flight of Ufford still leading with eight points, Soufriere just two points behind in second and Chloe third on fourteen points. With two more races to go, no boat counting worse than a fourth and no discard until all seven races have been sailed, all is still to be decided.

In Class 2 Jamie Matheson’s Opposition had another great day winning by a narrow 54-second margin from sailing yacht Firebrand with David Murrin’s Cetewayo 40 seconds behind in third. Overall, Firebrand currently has an impressive eleven-point lead with her worst score being a third, while Opposition is second on 21 points and Cetewayo third on 22 points. However, Opposition and Cetewayo are both counting a 14th place so Firebrand’s lead could dissolve when the discard kicks in after the final race.

Christine and Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper was the race five victor in Class 3 beating Sam Laidlaw and Rob Gray’s Clarionet by just under two minutes with Andy King’s Gluckauf third. Whooper’s five straight wins give her an almost unassailable lead in Class 3 going in to the final two races, but with Clarionet and Gluckauf only separated by five points and Martin Thomas’ Charm of Rhu just five further points behind in fourth, the remaining steps of the podium are still wide open.

In Class 4 David Foster and Ben Gillett’s Leopard took her first victor’s laurels of the regatta, beating Jonathan and Cilla Dyke’s Cereste by just over a minute. Third place went to Bob Gatehouse and his crew aboard Erida. In the overall standings Mikado continues to lead Class 4 and now has a thirteen point lead over Cereste who moves up a place into second, jumping over David Messum’s Nausicca which is now nine points back in third.

Today Christopher Courage’s Helen took her third victory of the regatta in the 8 Metre Class, beating Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia with Athena, owned by Lord Cork and David Glasgow, third. The overall standings in the 8 Metre Class are incredibly close with Saskia leading on eleven points, and Helen and Athena both counting thirteen points with Helen taking second place on count back.

Twenty two boats came to the line for the Ladies Race, which was run on a short triangular course to the east of Cowes. From a running start the fleet remained closely bunched all the way to the finish. It was so close that the top four boats were separated by only a minute and a half on corrected time. Victory went to Rosie Parks helming Whooper with Jodie Warner helming Cereste second, Annabel Vose helming Clarionet third and Louise Morton helming Cetewayo fourth. After racing we asked Rosie for the secret to her success and she was both hilarious and modest in her response saying “I got on the right boat with the right people! It was a fantastic day!” laughingly pointing to Giovanni Belgrano, his wife Christine and the rest of her crew. Louise Morton was also fulsome in praising her hosts saying, “It was a lovely invitation to sail such a beautiful boat. She is wonderfully balanced and a joy to sail. I loved every minute of it.”

This evening the crews are attending a BBQ and Crew Party at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club with live music and dancing. Tomorrow the fleet will enjoy the Long Inshore Race sponsored by Classic Boat in association with Wight Vodka starting at 10.30.

Racing continues until Friday 18 July and the event will conclude with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00 on Saturday 19 July.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014: Day 3

July 16, 2014

UK’s Cowes produced almost ideal conditions for day three of the currently running Panerai British Classic Week, where Squadron Racing Ltd ran two more amazing races in the Central Solent for the fleet of 52 yachts.  With hot sun, a balmy sea breeze that built from sub 10 to almost 20 knots and more gleaming varnish and brass than one can shake a stick at, it was a fantastic day’s sailing and great fun was had by all.  With four of the seven race series now concluded, the overall standings are shaping up and the upcoming three days are expected to be full of excitement.

Start of race at Panerai British Classic Week 2014 - Photo by Guido Cantini

Start of the race on Day 3 of the Panerai British Classic Week 2014 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

In Class 3 Christine and Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper continues to dominate, winning both of today’s races to make it four straight wins overall.  Andy King’s Gluckauf took second in both races and Rob Gray and Sam Laidlaw’s Clarionet was third in both.  In the overall standings Whooper unsurprisingly leads Class 3 with just four points.  Although Gluckauf was the better performer today she is counting a Did Not Compete from yesterday’s Around The Island Race and so Clarionet is lying in second overall on eleven points with Gluckauf two points behind them in third.

Mikado, owned by Michael Briggs, also claimed two first places today in Class 4 and so jumps into the lead overall with a seven point margin.  After a lacklustre start to the regatta, Bob Gatehouse’s Erida found her form this morning to finish second in race three, just ahead of David Foster and Ben Gillett’s Leopard who also favoured this morning’s lighter conditions.  This afternoon Jonathan and Scilla Dyke’s Cereste took second from David Messum’s Nausicaa.  In the overall standings Mikado is leading with seven points, Nausicaa is second on fourteen points and Cereste is third on twenty-two points.

Sean McMillan’s Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford was once again the most consistent performer in Class 1, adding a first and second to their score card.  Stephen O”Flaherty’s Soufriere won race four and having claimed third in race three she now lies in second place overall, just three points behind Flight of Ufford.  Michael Hough’s Chloe had another good day with a second and third so lies just two points back in third overall.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 3 - Photo by Guido Cantini

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 3 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

In Class 2 race three proved to be somewhat controversial.  There was a start line port starboard incident between David Murrin’s Cetewayo and Ebsen Poulsson and Ed Duboissailing yacht Firebrand that later resulted in the Protest Committee awarding a 4% penalty against Firebrand.  Then Cetewayo misjudged their approach to Gurnard Ledge and made contact with the buoy requiring them to take a 2% penalty.  Jamie Matheson’s Opposition was the clear winner of the race and after all the penalties were applied Firebrand was scored second and Cetewayo third.  Race four was decided entirely on the water with victory going to Cetewayo with Opposition second and Firebrand third.  In the overall standings Class 2 is now led by Firebrand on eight points, Cetewayo is second on nineteen points and Opposition is just one point further back in third.

In the 8 Metres the opening race of the day went to Christopher Courage’s Helen who was also looking very good in race four until they became aware that the boat, which they only took possession of last week, was taking water fast.  Unable to immediately trace the source of the water they pulled up on the final beat allowing their fellow competitors to sail on by.  Back ashore they discovered the offending problem was a faulty bilge pump which was back filling. Christopher, who currently counts two wins and two retirements, joked that, “If we could just finish the races we’d be winning the regatta!”  Whilst Helen had her dramas Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia was proving to be the most consistent boat of the day with a pair of second places, while Athena finished third in race three and went on to win race four.  In the overall standings Saskia now leads the 8 Metres by a single point from Athena with Helen two points behind in third.

This evening the participants are making the most of the wonderful weather with an Open Boats Dock Party sponsored by Classic Boat and Wight Vodka.  This event is a perennial favourite as not only does it give you a chance to take a look at your competitors boats, but its also the perfect opportunity to compare battle stories and swop tips on the restoration and maintenance of these wonderful yachts.

Tomorrow will feature race five in the main points series followed by the Ladies Race, where the boats must helmed by lady.  The first start will be at 10.00 from the Royal Yacht Squadron line with the second race following on.  After sailing the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club will host the traditional crews party.

Racing continues until Friday 18 July and the event will conclude with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00 on Saturday 19 July.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014: Day 2

July 15, 2014

Day two of the currently running Panerai British Classic Week in UK’s Cowes was marked by the Around the Island Race for Classes 1 to 4, sponsored by EFG International.  In addition, there was a further Solent race for the 8 Metres.

Sailing yacht Thalia at the Panerai British Classic Week 2014 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

Sailing yacht Thalia at the Panerai British Classic Week 2014 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

For those going around the Island it was a day of mixed conditions.  The start from the Royal Yacht Squadron was to the east with a strong flood tide pushing the fleet across the line, but very little wind.  The boats held their positions using engines until the last moment and the majority aimed to be as far offshore as possible for maximum tidal advantage.  For some the tactic was a success, but others found themselves drifting the wrong side of the outer distance mark and unable to return and start correctly.

For those who started correctly, the sail out of the Solent was a slow affair, but as they passed Bembridge the sea breeze began to build and before long they were rail-down beating across Sandown Bay in glorious sun, big seas and 20 knots from the southwest.

Michael Hough’s Spirit 52 Chloe had a brief drama on their way to St Catherine’s Point when crew member Dave Pittman was washed over the side by a big wave.  Fortunately the crew train regularly for just such an eventuality and they immediately gybed back, dropped the headsail and within three minutes a relieved Dave was back on board and changing into dry gear.  After racing Dave joked that “All that man overboard training finally paid off!”

Line Honours went to Sean McMillan’s Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford with an elapsed time of 9 hours, 26 minutes and 48 seconds.  Stephen O’Flaherty’s Spirit 54 Soufriere was hard on her heels with Chloe crossing third despite her man overboard drill.  The first true classic to finish was Christine and Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 Laurent Giles sloop Whooper in fourth and Ebsen Poulsson and Ed Dubois’ 1965 Sparkman and Stephen’s designed sailing yacht Firebrand was fifth home.

Whilst the big boats had their moment in the line honours, it was actually a day for the small boats once the handicaps were applied thanks to a favourable tidal gate at the Needles.  Nausicaa, the delightful 1939 Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet owned by David Messum, led the giant killing with a corrected time of 8 hours 57 minutes and 51 seconds, beating second placed Whooper by 7 minutes and 32 seconds.  Cereste, Jonathan and Scilla Dyke’s 1938 Shoreham Ten Tonner was third, Sir Michael Briggs’ 1904 Fife 30 Rater Mikado took fourth and Bill Hogg’s 1966 McGruer 7 Meter cruiser racer Zaleda was fifth.

The individual class winners were Flight of Ufford in Class 1, Firebrand in Class 2, Whooper in Class 3, and Nausicaa in Class 4.  The 8 Metres raced inshore but the strong winds saw several gear failures and as a result only two boats finished, with Lord Cork and David Glasgow’s Athena beating Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia.

Tomorrow two Solent races are planned for all classes with a first start at 10.00.  Après sailing the competitors will enjoy the Open Yachts Pontoon Party, allowing participants to view each other yachts whilst listening to live music and enjoying refreshments sponsored by BCYC, Classic Boat and Wight Vodka.

Racing continues until Friday 18 July and the event will conclude with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00 on Saturday 19 July.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014: Day 1

July 14, 2014

Today, July 14, saw the Panerai British Classic Week 2014 get off to an amazing start off UK’s Cowes, with an opening race in dappled sunlight under scudding clouds and a variable west to northwesterly wind ranging from sub ten to almost twenty knots.  There was plenty of action for a total number of 51 attending teams as they enjoyed a round the cans romp that started and finished on the Royal Yacht Squadron line and took them down into the Western Solent.  It was a challenging day for the navigators, with an exceptionally strong ebb tide running, making judging lay lines extremely difficult.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 1 - Photo by Guido Cantini

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 Day 1 - Photo by Guido Cantini/

First away from the line were the Modern Classics of Class 1, which includes the Spirit class yachts and yachts that the Committee of the British Classic Yacht Club consider to be built with the appearance of “a classic”.  From the off it was a three way battle between the Spirit 52s Flight of Ufford, owned by Sean McMillan, and Chloe, owned by Michael Hough, and Spirit 54 Soufriere, which is owned by Ireland’s Stephen O’Flaherty, but is perhaps better known to the general public as the yacht James Bond sailed up Venice’s Grand Canal in Casino Royale.  Having traded tacks and gybes all the way round the course it was Soufriere who claimed first blood, beating Flight of Ufford by 12 seconds with Chloe only half a minute behind in third.

In Class 2 David Murrin’s 1955 Laurent Giles designed Cetewayo got the upper hand early on and extended her lead on each leg to win the race by over eight minutes on corrected time.  Behind her there was a splendid battle for second between Jamie Mattheson’s Opposition, the former Morning Cloud II, and Ebsen Poulsson and Ed Duboissailing yacht Firebrand, a 1953 Sparkman and Stephens design.  Firebrand finished well ahead on the water but her crew had an anxious wait for the lower rated Opposition to come in.  Quick action with the calculator confirmed that Firebrand had taken second place by eight seconds with Opposition third.

“A fabulous day’s sailing.  Just perfect,” enthused David Orton of St David’s Light, the 40’ Illingworth and Primrose designed one off masthead sloop built in 1963 by Souters of Cowes who finished fourth in Class 3.  First place in Class 3 went to Christine & Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 one off sloop Whooper, with Andy King’s 1929 International 30 Square Metre Gluckauf, fondly known in the fleet as the flying toothpick thanks to her exceptionally long and low profile, second and Rob Gray’s Clarionet, the legendary Lallows’ built, Sparkman and Stephen’s designed 1966 fin and skeg One Tonner, third.

In Class 4, just 30 seconds separated first placed Cereste, a 1938 Shoreham Ten Tonner designed by Robert Clark and owned by Jonathan and Scilla Dyke, and second placed Mikado, Sir Michael Briggs’ 1904 Fife designed 30 Rater, one of the oldest boats in the regatta.  The sloop Danegeld, owned by Robert Veale, designed by David Cheverton in 1958 took third place.  One owner very happy with his boat’s performance today was Jason Fry of the 1946 Philip Rhodes designed sloop Shantih.  Jason only took ownership of the boat last week and has been rushing around desperately to get ready for the regatta.  He wasn’t able to get a spinnaker sorted in time for the week, but despite this they finished a very creditable fifth in Class 4 today.

In the 8 Metre Christopher Courage’s 1936 built Helen was the victor from the 1949 Erica, owned by David Myatt, with Murdoch McKillop’s 1931 Fife Saskia third.  After racing David Myatt confirmed they had enjoyed their day, but were mildly frustrated having misjudged their final mark rounding in the strong tide and allowed Helen to slip through and get away from them.

Tomorrow the boats will be taking part in the Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International, which starts to the East from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 08.00.  The 8 Metres will not race around the Island, but instead will have a Solent race starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 10.00.  The forecast is for lots of sunshine and a north northwesterly wind of circa 10 knots in the morning, backing southwesterly and increasing into the high teens through the day.

This evening the competitors will enjoy a Welcome Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron and tomorrow morning the Panerai Lounge will open from 06.30 to serve coffee and croissant to the competitors before they leave the dock.

Racing continues until Friday 18 July and the event will conclude with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00 on Saturday 19 July.

Panerai British Classic Week 2014 to feature a host of famous sailing yachts

July 10, 2014

The 2014 edition of the Panerai British Classic Week will be hosted by the Cowes Yacht Haven, running from July 12 to 19.  Classic yachts from across the UK as well as Europe will once again gather to race and celebrate all that is best in classic yachting, with some 50 yachts attending this year’s tenth anniversary edition of the regatta.


The fleet is always a spectacular sight and will once again feature a host of famous sailing yachts.  This year the 1903 Charles Sibbick designed yawl Thalassa will be amongst those attending the event.  Thalassa, owned by Nicholas Walker, is not only one of the oldest boats entered, but also has a fascinating history.  She has been raced since her launch with considerable success including 3rd overall in the 1927 Fastnet.  In the early 1930s her sailing master was John Illingworth, perhaps the most famous racing sailor of his generation and widely regarded as the founder of modern ocean racing.  Having spent the war safely tucked up in a mud berth in Brightlingsea, Thalassa led the post war return to ocean and RORC racing and continued to be one of the most successful boats on the racing circuit.  Her crew’s approach was to give 100% commitment to every aspect of their campaigns and their reputation for hosting outstanding crew dinners and parties more than matched their fearsome reputation on the racecourse!  Thalassa has been beautifully restored and her interior is largely original making her a very special yacht indeed.

The youngest boat attending will be the newly launched 74’ luxury yacht Spirit of Galatea, designed by Sean McMillan.  Built by Spirit Yachts of Ipswich, Spirit of Galatea will join Panerai British Classic Week as a cruising entry, taking part in the Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International on Monday 14 July. This stunning yacht is a wonderful example of the regatta’s “modern classic” division, which incorporates modern yachts built with the appearance of a classic.  Galatea’s designer Sean McMillan, who also happens to be Panerai British Classic Week Regatta Chairman summed up his feelings about the Modern Classic Division succinctly saying; “It is the most extraordinary privilege to be able to design and build contemporary yachts that are able to participate within the fleet of the British Classic Yacht Club. To race with some of the most beautiful yachts afloat in the challenging waters of the Solent is to experience the very essence of the Classic Yacht movement”.

Another fascinating yacht to look out for will be John Porter’s Overlord, a 58’ Bermudan sloop built in 1936 by Abeking and Rasmussen for the Luftwaffe.  She was part of a fleet of yachts used for training Luftwaffe navigators.  In 1945 Overlord and many other yachts in the Luftwaffe fleet were taken as prizes of war at Kiel and later included in the reparations agreement.  Overlord was handed over to the British Armed Forces in the guise of the Sapper Yacht Club and enjoyed a distinguished racing career between 1945 and 1955.  She was purchased in 1961 by Tony Venables, who formed the Offshore Cruising Club to manage her, and she is still sailed regularly by the club’s 200 members.

Thalassa, Spirit of Galatea and Overlord will join a fleet of some 50 classic and modern classic yachts for the regatta, which runs from Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 July.  There will be daily racing from Sunday 13 to Friday 18 July including the Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International on Monday 14 July, the Ladies Race on Wednesday 16 July, a long inshore race sponsored by Classic Boat on Thursday 17 July and the Sandeman Yacht Company Race on Friday 18 July.  The quality of the racing is matched by the quality of the social programme which includes Mezze at Moocow on the opening Saturday, a Welcome Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron on Sunday, the Open Yachts Pontoon Party on Tuesday when the participants get to inspect each other’s yachts, a Crew Party and BBQ on Wednesday and the Prize Giving Dinner on Friday, as well as daily hospitality in the Panerai Lounge where cocktails will be sponsored by Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, which has been released in celebration of Mount Gay’s 311-year history.  The regatta will conclude with the traditional Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green on Saturday 19 July.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week welcomes CNBC as Official Business Media Partner

July 03, 2014

Cowes Week Limited (CWL), the organisation behind the world-renowned regatta, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, is excited to announce CNBC, the world’s leading business and financial news network, as the Official Business Media Partner to the event.



This new agreement will assist the already internationally-acclaimed regatta in reaching a wider European audience with a commercial advertising campaign designed to promote Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. CNBC will receive hospitality and branding at the event, enabling it to increase its profile with those both following the event online and in attendance in Cowes.

Commenting on the announcement Finola McDonnell, Vice President of International Marketing and Communications at CNBC said: “Cowes Week is one of Britain’s oldest summer sporting events and it’s clear that our audiences complement each other well.  We look forward to working with CWL and to raising awareness of the event to our international influential and affluent audience.”

Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director at CWL, added: “This is the first time that our regatta has established a relationship of this nature and we’re delighted to be working with CNBC to increase the international reach of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week with a huge European audience. We’re always looking at ways in which we can engage with more people from home and further afield; this new relationship provides us with a perfect vehicle to do this.”

This year’s regatta takes place from 2 – 9 August and will be supported by an advertising campaign on CNBC in July.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 to feature amazing line-up of aerial displays

June 25, 2014

Cowes Week Limited (CWL) is pleased to announce that local letterbox has extended its support of the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week to comprise even more amazing airborne displays. These will significantly strenghten the shore-side programme at this year’s regatta.


The Blades

local letterbox, an exciting new business that is set to be the only dedicated network of parcel shops and parcelpods™ in the UK, stepped-in with support to safeguard the regatta’s Red Arrows display last year. This year, the company that will soon be offering customers a new and much more convenient way to collect, try on, return and send their parcels, irrespective or where they shop, is stepping-up its support to not only include a display by the iconic aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, but also has secured a Typhoon display and a display from the local letterbox-sponsored display team, The Blades.

The support provided by local letterbox means that many thousands of people in Cowes will enjoy a sensational display by The Blades (Saturday 2 August), the RAF Typhoon Display Team (Friday 8 August) and the Red Arrows (Friday 8 August); the latter two complementing a packed evening of entertainment culminating in the traditional fireworks display.

Commenting on the announcement, Zoë Ombler, Chief Operating Officer at local letterbox said: “We’re delighted to offer our support to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week by ensuring the appearance of the world famous Red Arrows again this year. In addition, we’re extremely excited to announce a fabulous display by The Blades Aerobatic Display Team, who last wowed the crowds at Cowes Week in 2008; as well as an incredible display by an RAF Typhoon, completing the line up of spectacular aerial displays and providing the Cowes audience with some unforgettable shore-side entertainment”.

Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director for Cowes Week Limited added: “We’re delighted that local letterbox, with its fresh and innovative approach to online shopping, is providing such great support to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and that, through our event, we are able to provide a platform for them to promote their new concept while delivering a great experience to all our competitors and visitors”.

The full entertainments schedule for this year’s regatta is available online. This information is continuously updated so anyone planning their trip to Cowes during the regatta should check the latest information on the website.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place this from 2-9 August and those thinking about entering to take part in the racing are reminded that the standard entry fee ends on Sunday 27 July at midnight. Anyone who can’t take part for the full week can pick whichever day- or days – are convenient to them.

Sir Ben Ainslie to co-helm 100ft sailing yacht LEOPARD at J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

June 03, 2014

The final countdown to racing at this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is well underway. The Island Sailing Club (ISC) in Cowes, organisers of the race, along with around 16,000 sailors, are expected to enjoy another exciting RTI Race day on Saturday, June 21.

Smiling in anticipation! John Dudley, Commodore Island Sailing Club, and current Multihull record holder Sir Ben Ainslie, are both on course for a great day on June 21st. Photo: Julia Slack, Slack Photography

Smiling in anticipation! John Dudley, Commodore Island Sailing Club, and current Multihull record holder Sir Ben Ainslie, are both on course for a great day on June 21st. Photo: Julia Slack, Slack Photography

An army of behind-the-scenes volunteers combines with a first-class and well-practiced Race Management team at the ISC to host and run the largest yacht race of its kind in the world. The news channels, whether broadcast, internet or social media, are awash with incredible images and sound bites from this most famous of races held annually in June.

Stories abound of the phenomenal racing prowess of the professionals – the Olympians and World Champions – but there also fascinating and endearing stories from amateur sailors from all over the UK, and from beyond our shores, brought into our homes via the LIVE Race blog and social media feeds.

Do join in! Standard entries close at midnight on Saturday 7th June.

Could Sir Ben Ainslie be the first yachtsman to hold both the multi & monohull RTI course records?

The ISC is delighted that the four time Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie is returning to participate in this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Sir Ben will join Mike Slade and his crew on board the current monohull Race record holder, charter yacht Leopard (GBR1R). Sir Ben will co-helm Leopard with Mike and this is a fantastic opportunity for Ben to potentially claim both multi and monohull Race records after breaking last year’s multihull record on the J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 catamaran.

Ben and his team broke the Multihull course record in last year's RTI.  Photo: Lloyd Images

Ben and his team broke the Multihull course record in last year's RTI. Photo: Lloyd Images

Sir Ben Ainslie
“The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is an event that the whole UK sailing community looks forward to each year. What makes the Race special is the ‘Race for all’ ethos in that no matter how big or small your boat, everyone is racing on level terms.

“Last year’s Race was particularly special for me, we [Ben Ainslie Racing] broke the multihull record in honour of our great friend Andrew Simpson and this year we have been invited to sail with Mike Slade on his Maxi Yacht, Leopard.

“It’s a fantastic boat and one that I have wanted to compete in the race on for many years. I look forward to seeing the thousands of competitors on the start line come June 21st and wish everyone a great 2014 Race.”

Mike Slade
“We have been competing in the Race for over twenty years and each year offers different and intriguing challenges. In that time we have managed to break the Race monohull record on five occasions, including last year’s near-perfect Race conditions that allowed us to shave 10 minutes off our previous record in an elapsed time of 3 hours 43 minutes and 50 seconds.

“What makes the Race so special are the thousands of sailors that compete. It is a wonderful sight to see over 1,600 boats all competing hard to achieve their best time. This year I was delighted to invite Sir Ben to co-helm Leopard.  We have sailed together previously and that proved memorable and I’m hoping for another notable sail.

“Ben is one of the true greats of British sailing and Leopard and her crew are looking forward to welcoming him on-board.”

Competition is rife!

Hoping to break Sir Ben’s Multihull record is the recently announced GC32 Team Richard Mille (GBR1). The talented multihull sailors who hope to break this record are led by the helm Paul Campbell James, member of the AC34 Luna Rossa Challenge and past winner of the Extreme Sailing Series. He will be joined by fellow AC34 Luna Rossa team mate, Nick Hutton; previous winning skipper of the Extreme Sailing Series, Pete Cumming, and GC32 expert Adam Piggott.

Meanwhile the 75 year-old and apparently unstoppable veteran sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, is racing his Open 60 Grey Power (GBR749R). This is the man who will compete solo in the infamous transatlantic Route de Rhum in November this year, 45 years after becoming the first man to sail alone non-stop around the world.

At the other end of the scale, 23 year-old Lizzie Foreman from Surrey, is racing her Mini 6.50 Hudson Wight (633), the boat she is campaigning for next year’s gruelling Mini Transat. Lizzy, who usually sails solo and offshore, will be three up and inshore for the RTI.

The Island Sailing Club is grateful for the continued support of the Race Title Sponsor, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and the Race Partners for 2014: Dream Yacht Charter, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney, Raymarine, Red Funnel, Volvo Car UK.