Winners of Cowes Week Photography Competition 2014

Published on September 4th, 2014

Budding photographers, Sophie Hunt, Simon Dear and Will Ball have all been announced as winners of the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Photography Competition that challenged entrants to capture the ‘spirit of the regatta’

The competition, now in its second year, was created as an incentive for aspiring snappers amongst those attending Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week to upload and share their photos on the event website, entering them into three different categories; Shore-side, Racing and Under 18.

The winner of each category has been awarded with a £250 photography equipment voucher, and the winner of the ‘racing’ and ‘shore-side’ categories will be given the opportunity to shadow a professional photographer at next year’s regatta that takes place between the 8th and 15th August, 2015.

Sophie Hunt's winning photo

The ‘racing’ category was won by Sophie Hunt, a keen 27 year old sailor from Bembridge now working in London. The picture captures the racing yachts in close quarters as they prepare to do battle at the start line. The photo was taken from an iPhone whilst racing on ‘MOANA’, a First 47.7 from Ghent in Belgium.

“I’m so pleased to have been selected as a winner in this competition,” said Sophie who admitted it was the first photography competition she has entered. “Capturing my crew in the foreground gave it a strong sense of perspective and offers the viewer an insight into the intense racing conditions, especially on the start line.”

Simon Dear's winning photo

Simon Dear, 48, of Newport on the Isle of Wight was chosen as the winner of the ‘shore-side’ category with an arty monochrome shot of two cyclists enjoying the racing, said: “It’s great to be able to win a competition from doing something you really enjoy and for me that’s taking pictures. I’m sure the £250 will be put to good use and it will be great to spend some time with an expert photographer at next year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.”


Over one hundred entries were received in this year’s competition, with a number of them coming in the Under 18’s category. In what was a tough task for the judges, Will Ball, 15, was selected as the winner with his jaw-dropping photo at the top the 23 metre mast of his grandfather’s boat, Antilope with the Cowes Yacht Haven as its backdrop.

“It was only the first time I had ever been up to the top of a mast and was something I had always wanted to do,” said Will. “I borrowed one of the crews GoPro cameras and took the shot with that so I’m really pleased to have won!”

Double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson, was one of the judges given the hard task of choosing the winners, joined by representatives from Aberdeen Asset Management, Getty Images and Cowes Week Limited.

Shirley said: “Cowes Week never fails in giving sailors and spectators opportunities to capture really exciting photos. It’s such a special event, which I am very close to living on the Island so it’s great to see the different types of entries in this competition. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who took part.”

Aberdeen Asset Management will be looking to run the photography competition at Cowes Week 2015. Jill Maxwell, Head of Sponsorship at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “We are thrilled that the photography competition was embraced by so many people again this year. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is an event for all the family and with this competition, along with other incentives, we aim to enhance the experience of Cowes Week amongst competitors and spectators alike. We hope that next year’s competition will prove to be even more popular!”

Further to the competition run through the event website, a separate Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Instagram competition encouraged entrants to post a #Sailfie – a play on the word ‘selfie’ – with a nautical theme. James Loder, 27 from Windsor emerged victorious with his photo of the starting cannons at Cowes’ famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line. James claimed an event goody bag, including Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week merchandise, a bottle of Mount Gay Rum, a bottle of Laithwaite’s Champagne and men’s skincare products, courtesy of Liz Earle.

The winning photos and other competition entries can be found here.

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