The 125 competitors registering for Cowes Classics Week on 9th July were treated to Cowes Classics Day, a celebration of classic forms of transport, with over fifty cars, buses and motor yachts and a vintage biplane fly-past outside the organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club. The following five days of competitive Corinthian racing were complemented by a full social program hosted by six local yacht clubs.
The winds were strong all week but each fleet was able to race every day. Three race tracks provided racing for the nine fleets of dayboats on the GJW Direct windward-leeward courses, while the classic yachts and old gaffers enjoyed round-the-cans racing from the RLYC club line.
At the Evelyn Partners Prize-giving, competitors sat down to a glass of English sparkling wine and a high tea to watch the winners receive their prizes. With twenty-six entries, the Swallow class was won convincingly by Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir. On behalf of the Swallow class, Mike also collected the Queen Victoria Trophy in recognition of their seventy-fifth anniversary. The winner in the 6mr class was Simon Williams on Silvervingen, who, with Shirley Robertson aboard achieved a full set of race wins. In the Daring class the racing was much closer but David Tydeman on Dynamite held on to take the overall win. John Tremlett on Astralita had to fight all the way to win the popular XOD class while Claire Locke recovered from a slow start to win the Folkboat class in The Otter. The Flying Fifteens were won convincingly by Chris Gorringe in Leap of Faith and Chris also walked away with the New Helm Trophy. Jonathan Evans won the Loch Long class aboard Tantrum. Michael Cover came good towards the end of the week to win the Dragon class in Ithaca, as did Martin Harrison in Hussar in the Squib class. Rounding off the winners in the dayboat classes was Noel Dobbs in the Seaview Mermaid Mimosa.
The Concours d’Elegance was won by the beautifully presented Dorothy, owned by Ossie Stewart. Ratsey & Lapthorn sailmakers supplied a trophy for the Spirit of Cowes Classics Week and this was won by the Swallow Class when they all pulled together to save a race that was in dispute. The Classic Boat Magazine Trophy for seamanship was won by Barry Elliott, the RLYC coxswain, and William McNeill’s team aboard XOD Lara won the David Gower Bowl for the youngest average age crew. The Traveller’s Trophy for the furthest-travelled entry was not in dispute this year; it was won by Eve, a Swan 65 which was sailed from Sydney, Australia by Steven Capell & Fraser Welch.
Cowes Classics Week 2024 will run from 7th to 12th July, incorporating Cowes Classics Day on the 7th and racing from the 8th to the 12th