The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week, in conjunction with title sponsor Charles Stanley, have decided to move the event in 2016 two weeks earlier than previously scheduled, to be held from Monday 11th to Friday 15th July 2016.
Peter Taylor, Commodore of the Royal London Yacht Club and Principal Race Officer for the regatta, explained that the decision has been taken to try to avoid scheduling the event at the same time as any other major regatta hosted in Cowes, and to extend the gap between Classics Week and Cowes Week.
The following factors were taken into consideration, and the organisers believe that the change will bring significant benefit to the future of the event, sponsors, and competitors alike:
• increasing number of race circuits required to provide quality racing for the increased number of entries and classes;
• dilution of media coverage, event profile and sponsor profile in Cowes;
• pressure on regatta resources, volunteers and social venues;
• pressure on moorings, accommodation and ferry travel
Cowes as a premier sailing venue is expected to benefit from the decision as the new date will provide for a long season of major events in the town, commencing with Round the Island Race at the beginning of July, followed by Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week, straight into Panerai Classics Regatta, Commodore’s Cup (with which Cowes Classics Week would have clashed), Taittinger at the Royal Solent, International Etchells Invitational Regatta and the J111 World Championships both in the week prior to Cowes Week, and Cowes Week itself.
The Royal London is then hosting the Etchells Europeans at the end of August and the Etchells World Championships in early September. As has been the case this year with the RYS Bicentenary celebrations, Cowes will be the focus for world class yachting events for the entire summer.
An additional benefit for competitors is that the tides are extremely favourable in the new week, with a maximum 4.2m HW.
Further information and announcements concerning the 2016 event will be posted on the Cowes Classics website over the coming weeks.
Primary photograph: Tim Jeffreys