Image is not available

A Great Week - again

Once again, the weather gods gave us Mediterranean conditions for this year’s Cowes Classics Week.

We had a record entry this year of 127 boats in 11 classes which were 12mR, 8mR, Darings (fixed design of 5.5mR), Classic Dayboats (including 6mR), Sunbeams, Squibs, Flying Fifteens, XODs, BODs, Old Gaffers and Classic Cruisers (including SCODS, and Nicholson 32s celebrating their 50th anniversary).

The fleet ranged from the elegant 12 Metres to the ' delightful little Howth 17s - gaff rigged with a topsail. We are reliably informed that the metre classes (12s, 8s and 6s) have not raced in the same regatta since Cowes Week 1939!

This is now a truly international event with boats and crews coming from the US, Australia, France, Belgium and Ireland. The UK boats came from as far as Perthshire.

The largest classes were the Solent Sunbeams at 20 (celebrating their 90th anniversary), XODs at 38 and Classic Cruisers at 16.

A one off race to celebrate the Royal London Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary took place on Monday from the RLYC shoreline with 8 class starts. Each class winner received a RLYC 175 cut crystal glass and the Trinity Trophy was awarded to the Loch Long OD Tantrum helmed by Binnie Evans for his outstanding performance on corrected time in the Classic Dayboat class.

The regatta series ran from Tuesday to Friday racing mainly in the central Solent in four race areas with eight races scheduled over the four days. The fleet were racing for the splendid collection of RLYC trophies including the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup presented to the Club by Queen Victoria in 1886 and the Bartlett International Challenge Cup which were both first raced for in the late 1800s, and the Aitken Challenge Cup first awarded in the 1950s.

Tuesday was Royal Victoria Race Day and two races were held in a light westerly sea breeze following a 

long postponement. Competitors enjoyed a reception that evening at Kendalls Fine Art Gallery followed by The Royal Victoria prize giving of lovely model classic boat hulls made by local wood turner Ray Dickinson which took place at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club sustained by a hog roast.

Wednesday was Haines Boatyard Day and saw similar Mediterranean type high pressure weather with a late, even lighter, westerly sea breeze when only one race was achieved for the smaller boats and the fleet had to be towed back from the Bramble Bank. Haines Boatyard sponsored a reception at the Royal Corinthian that evening.

Thursday which was Harken day saw a light easterly gradient wind which the developing south easterly sea breeze killed off so racing was postponed for the day, except that the three 8ms, who either had an engine or had a support RIB in attendance, persuaded their race officer to give them some unofficial racing in the eastern Solent where they found a light breeze.

An excellent Regatta Dinner was enjoyed by 170 at the Royal London that evening preceded by a reception in the Royal London garden sponsored by the Sunbeam class to celebrate their 90th Anniversary.

The last race day, Friday dawned with a good easterly breeze and racing started on time with three races being achieved for the smaller boats enabling them to catch up so a total of six races counted for the series before discard for all the classes apart from the Classic Cruisers who had four races. The Harken prizes were awarded to the winners of the first race of the day.

The official charity this year was the Andrew Cassell Foundation for Paralympic Sailing. Friday was Andrew Cassell Foundation Race Day. Just as Weymouth geared up to host the 2012 Paralympic Games, Andy announced his project to train disabled sailors with a view to preparing them for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, from his base on the Isle of Wight.

The project is being jointly run by the Andrew Cassell Foundation, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and the RYA. In excess of £3500 was raised during the event for the official charity.

The Overall Prize giving took place after high tea for 180 at the Royal London and the prizes were presented by Andy Cassell and his Paralympic Sonar crew Andrew Millband and Tom Avery, one of the potential sailors in Rio.

The Classic Cruisers were racing with us for the first time and enjoyed an excellent entry. They had four races, some longer than the dayboats, from the RLYC shoreline and later in the week from a Committee Boat. We were delighted to see the Classic Cruisers, Classic Dayboats and the Old Gaffers who were all racing on handicap.

We are most grateful to our Sponsors who were Harken, Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Ocean World, Red Funnel, Kendalls Art Gallery, Cowes Harbour Commission, The Yachting Studio, Ratsey & Lapthorn Classic Boat Magazine and the Solent Sunbeam Class and last but not least to the team of 50 or so volunteers from the five clubs who helped to run the event on and off the water.

Planning for next year

As you are aware Cowes Classics Week is run by and for the competitors, hosted by the Royal London YC, assisted by the other Cowes Clubs. Each year we have held a meeting of class captains/representatives to go over any issues that arose in the current year and to discuss any new ideas or class-specific requirements for the following year.

If anyone has any feedback - the class captains/reps meeting is coming up in early November, so please let your class captain/rep know or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Next year's dates: Cowes Classics Week - 21-25 July 2014

Download this report which is taken from the CCW Newsletter dated September 2013


Class and Trophy Boat Name Winner

12 Metre - Bartlett Cup 


Richard Rankin

8 Metre - Aitken Challenge Cup


Murdoch McKillop

6 Metre - Kirlo half model


David Elliott

Daring - The Loup Garou Model


David Gower

Solent Sunbeam - Queen Victoria Anniversary Trophy, Cowes Classics Week Cup & Mike Till Painting


Jo Burnie

Nicholson 32 - Bartlett Insignia


Tom Robeyn

SCOD - Phoenix Challenge Trophy


Jaik Tari

Classic Cruisers - Danegeld Half Model


Rod and Sue Moody

Loch Long - Mike Till Painting


Binnie Evans

Classic Dayboat - Maurice Wilmot Trophy


Jonty Sherwill

Flying Fifteen - Calf Cup


Robert Salmond

Old Gaffers - Old Gaffer Model


Ian Malcolm

XOD - Haines Boatyard Trophy


Mike Martell

BOD - Red Funnel Plate


Peter Summerhayes

Solent Grounding Tophy


Tom Robeyn

Travellers Trophy

Johnny III

Aubrey Ratsey & Lapthorn Finburgh from Lake Decanter Annecy in France

Overall Winner - Harken Trophy

Solent Sunbeam Fleury

Jo Burnie

Classic Boat Magazine
Ratsey and Lapthorn
Llallows Boatyard
World Leisurewear
Mermaid Gin Isle of Wight Distillery
Red Funnel Ferries
GJW Insurance
Kendalls Fine Art Gallery
GJW Insurance