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News and highlights from 2012:

  • Mike Golding OBE presented the prizes
  • The Queen visited Cowes on Wednesday. Cowes Classics Week was represented by our 12mR competitors.
  • Twelve Metre Yachts - two twelve metre yachts Crusader and Italia entered the regatta for the first time.
  • A Revival class was organised for racing keelboats that are either one-off or not attending in sufficient numbers for a class start and were split into 2 fleets bermudan-rigged and gaff-rigged boats.
  • Match racing in Darings

View Jessica Dobb's Photos

Cowes Classics Week 2012 took place in delightful Mediterranean type weather from the 23 to 27 July. The Royal London Yacht Club as the main organising club, in conjunction with the Island Sailing Club, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and Royal Victoria Yacht Club, were delighted with the success of this 5th Cowes Classics Week (formerly the Metre and Classic Keelboat Regatta).

The biggest and best event ever, 2012 saw 100 entries over 9 classes, compete for some of the Club's most prestigious trophies. The 12mR class,represented by Crusader (Richard Matthews) and Italia (Richard Rankin), Sceptre being forced to withdraw just before the event, competed for the Claude Cayley Challenge Cup, which was raced for in the 1930s by the Js and in the 1950s by the 12s. This trophy was won, by one point, by Italia. The organising committee hopes to be able to attract more metre boats to the event in future years.

We also welcomed five Loch Longs who travelled from Aldebrugh in Suffolk to celebrate their 75th Anniversary with us. They competed for the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup which was presented to the Royal London Yacht Club by Queen Victoria in 1886. This trophy was won by Pippin, helmed by Jimmy Robinson. Both these trophies were presented, along with all class trophies and prizes, by Mike Golding OBE at a magnificent High Tea at the Royal London.

In total we welcomed 349 competitors to the event, who enjoyed fantastic champagne sailing on the Solent on Thursday and Friday after the light wind frustrations of Tuesday and Wednesday. The XOD's again had the largest turnout with thirty boats. We were also pleased to welcome ten Squibs from the Royal Victoria on Tuesday, and all other classes - Solent Sunbeams, Bembridge One Designs, Darings, and a growing number of 'Revival' yachts, ranging from 6mRs and Dragons to a number of gaffed rigged dayboats. These included a Medway One Design, a Fife, a half rater and David Hopkins’ 1927 gaff sloop Chough which won the Concours d’Elegance.

One of the characteristics of this event, as well as racing from three committee boats using a mixture of laid and fixed marks in the least tidal waters of the Solent east of the Bramble Bank, is that a social event takes place at a different location each evening with, this year, the opening reception and dinner at the Royal Corinthian, followed by supper at the Royal Victoria, a reception at the Classic Boat Museum followed by supper at the Island Sailing Club and the Regatta Dinner at the Royal London which were all sell out events. A particular highlight for the competitors is a welcome cup of tea and slice of homemade cake after racing on at least two days of the week.

Cowes Classics Week 2012 was sponsored by Harken, Wilmot Marine Services, Haines Boatyard, Classic Boat Magazine, Cowes Harbour Commissioners, Kendalls Fine Arts, Ocean World, Roberts Charts and the Yachting Studio.

The Official Charity was the Classic Boat Museum at East Cowes to which competitors donated most generously when visiting their impressive and very interesting new premises.

We are already planning next year's event, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next July, when we promise that the sun will again shine, with perhaps a little more of a steady breeze. The event will take place a week earlier next year, from the 15 to 19 July 2013, in order that we can take advantage of neap tides.

The anniversary trophy, the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup, will next year go to the Sunbeams in their ninetieth year and we are hoping for more classes and more boats including an expansion to the Revival classic dayboat classes and introducing a Revival classic cruising yacht class.


Overall Trophy Harken Trophy Danny Roger Wickens
Bembridge OD Red Funnel Plate BOD 8 James Row
Daring The Loup-Garou Model Dauntless Giles Peckham
Loch Long OD Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup Pippin Jimmy Robinson
Revival Danegeld Half Model Mizpah Lionel Hoare
Fast Revival Maurice Wilmot Trophy Whimsey Gordon Ingate
Solent Sunbeams Cowes Classics Week Cup Danny Roger Wickens
X One Designs Haines Boatyard Trophy Lass Jeremy Lear
12mR Claude Cayley Cup Italia Richard Rankin
Pursuit Race Trinity Cup Italia Richard Rankin
Concours d’Elegance Classic Boat Glass Chough David Hopkins
Classic Boat Magazine
Ratsey and Lapthorn
Llallows Boatyard
Fawley Waterside
World Leisurewear
Mermaid Gin Isle of Wight Distillery
Cowes Harbour Commission
Red Funnel Ferries
GJW Insurance
Kendalls Fine Art Gallery
GJW Insurance