Regatta Format: Evolve or Die

Published on February 20th, 2018

Since 1826, Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events. It now stages up to 40 daily races for around 1,000 boats and is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

So what does this seemingly successful event do? For the first time, the 2018 edition will see the introduction of a new Double-handed class with entries invited for boats with IRC ratings between 0.900 to 1.085.

“This reflects a growing part of the sport and we want to offer the racing that sailors want,” reports Regatta Director Laurence Mead. “For some classes that is a bit more of a bias to windward/leeward courses and for others a more ’round the cans’ structure. Welcoming the Double-handed boats is a natural evolution.”

Courses will be about 3½ hours long with an interesting range of wind angles, but somewhat fewer legs than for the standard IRC classes. If there is enough demand going forward, two class starts are on offer, enabling a wider range of boats to compete.

Lendy Cowes Week 2018 takes place on August 4-11.

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