A week of first class sailing and vibrant entertainment, Cowes Week is a well regarded event showcasing exciting competitive sailing in Cowes, just off the coast of the Isle of Wight. Attracting 8,500 competititors on 1,000 boats, world class and weekend sailors mix and mingle making Cowes Week a staple in England’s social sporting calendar and one worth making a staycation of.
Cowes Week was created in 1826, making it one of the UK’s longest running sporting events. Though it’s over 190 years old, the event schedule keeps evolving, such as last year’s introduction of a new racing class; the GRP Classic Class, celebrating how sailing boat design has evolved so rapidly since 1974, the year in which flat bottom designs took off. The introduction of this new aspect of the event means those classic boats will be able to race alongside like minded boats and owners, who might not have the opportunity to do so previously. Spectators are invited to watch from the shore, where a host of hospitality activities will be ongoing.
Racing starts every day at 10am, with the bang of an old school cannon. From then on, there is constant commentary on Cowes Radio, live streamed from a boat which follows the action, and making spectators feel as if they’re racing alongside the competitors. For those who want to get even closer to the action, book a spot on a spectator boat which means you can watch from the water on one of the hour-long trips. Adventurous spectators can book themselves onto a Rib Ride, which will take you as close to the action as possible without actually racing.
Cowes Week also presents the perfect excuse to explore the beautiful Isle of Wight; walking along the sandy beaches, dining at seafront restaurants, perusing Cowes’ abundance of boutique shops and soaking up the festival atmosphere that spreads across the island.
18 Bath Road, Cowes PO31 7QN
8–15 August 2020
The event is free – unless, of course, you are entering your own boat in the Regatta – however spectator boats are available for £12.50 per adult and £8 per child. Rib Rides cost £37 for an adult and £25 for a child.
Housed in a handsome, Grade II-listed townhouse, North House – the very first boutique hotel in Cowes – blends rustic furnishings with real tongue-in-cheek nautical flare. Bedrooms come in three sizes: cosy, comfy and spacious, though even the ‘cosies’ have everything you might want for, including Roberts radios and REN bath products. From March to late October, the heated outdoor pool is open, and the dining terrace and cloistered garden really come into their own.
Doubles from £145; book via northhousecowes.co.uk