Everything you need to know about Cowes Week

Bordier on the water Cowes Week 2022

Hailed as one of the UK’s most prestigious sporting events, Cowes Week 2023 will be back with a bang – and as long term charter providers for the exhilarating event, we can’t wait! But what actually happens during this exciting regatta? Events Manager, Sonya, tells us everything you need to know about Cowes Week…

What is Cowes Week?

Cowes Week is a seven day sailing regatta taking place on the south coast’s stunning Solent.  It is the highlight of the British sailing season, as Wimbledon and Henley regatta are to tennis and rowing!  The main difference that sets Cowes Week apart though, is that you can take part too – even if you cannot sail!

The regatta takes place in August and attracts around 1,000 yachts, 8,000 competitors and over 100,000 spectators, making Cowes Week the largest sailing regatta in Europe and one of the largest annual sporting events in the UK.

When is Cowes Week 2023?

Cowes Week 2023 is due to take place from 29th July – 4th August.

Do I have to be a sailor to take part?

Absolutely not! We regularly take novice crews out to race in Cowes Week and once you are paired up with our highly qualified, professional crew, you will be able to take part in all of the racing, getting stuck into all the action onboard the boat!

Do you have to race all week (The full seven days)?

No, You can enter a team to compete for just one day or multiple days, or the full week! The choice is entirely up to you. 

Related: Cowes Week Racing Packages from Britannia Events

Can I hire an entire yacht from you?

Yes, we have a large range of yachts from 37 to 46ft and you can charter a whole yacht, for one or multiple days, to get you and your team out on the water at this prestigious event. 

If you are an individual wishing to take part, our sister company Sailing Logic offers spaces on an individual basis)

What does a typical day look like at Cowes Week if we wish to come racing?

You and your team will join us in our VIP hospitality area from 8:30am for check-in. Following a thorough safety briefing from your skipper, you will head out on the water for a quick training session. 

Racing kicks off at approx. 10:30am (exact times TBC) and can last up to four hours.  You will have lunch onboard (this is included in your package). 

When racing finishes at you will head back to the Island Sailing Club where you will have a reserved table in our VIP hospitality area and you can relax with your team over post-racing drinks from our lifestyle partners Salcombe Gin and, for a small upgrade cost, the delicious BBQ we serve daily, exclusively for our guests.

If I need accommodation, team kit or boat/clothing branding can you assist?

Yes, we work with some fantastic lifestyle partners, including Helly Hansen, Solent Hotels and Ultrasun and can help you organise a whole range of added extras.

Talk to your us about catering, restaurant reservations, on-shore accommodation, ferry travel, RIB transfers, boat branding, branded team kit, photography packages and much more.

All you need to do it invite your guests and turn up – we can take care of everything else for you!

Related: Our lifestyle partners

I don’t want to take part in Cowes Week sailing but would like to spectate? Do you offer packages for that?

Yes!  Racing is not for everyone so for teams/groups that wish to be part of Cowes Week, but at a more leisurely pace, we offer our comfortable cruising yachts. 

You can spend a morning spectating the racing while enjoying breakfast onboard the yacht, with your skipper keeping you up to speed with all the action. You then make your way into Cowes for a delicious lunch ashore, followed by a relaxed sail back to Hamble.  It is a great way to view this stunning spectacle!

Related: Cowes Week Hospitality Packages from Britannia Events

Are there any other activities that happen while the Cowes Week regatta is on? 

Cowes Week is not just about the on-the-water action – Cowes itself is well worth an explore while the regatta is on as it becomes a hive of activity with live music, bars, food stalls and pop-up retail stands taking over this quaint coastal sailing hub!

Our team have spent a lot of time over in Cowes, so speak to us to find out the best places to pay a visit to.

What are our five golden tips for enjoying Cowes Week? 

  1. Sail Hard, Play Hard* – Half the fun of Cowes Week is enjoying the apres-sail entertainment on shore so we would always recommend basing yourselves in Cowes (rather than heading back to the mainland) so you can make the most of the experience
  2. Book your VIP hospitality  – the restaurants and beer tent benches can get busy, so to secure your own reserved seating and catering in the heart of the race village take advantage of our VIP hospitality area (only available to our guests) and host your team in style and comfort
  3. Bring the essentials – The weather can be changeable so if you are sailing cover all bases:
    1. Wear layers
    2. Bring sun cream, sunglasses and a cap, as well as a woolly hat!  
    3. Bring a change of clothes in case you get wet, otherwise you may be trying to enjoy post-racing drinks in soggy shorts!
  4. Spectate from Cowes Green – if you are in Cowes with time to kill, stroll down to Cowes Green just beyond the Royal Yacht Squadron to watch the exhilarating race starts where the yachts battle it out for first place .
  5. A big Smile! So everyone can see just how much fun you are having.

Find out more

To find out more about our Cowes Week Sailing and Cowes Week Hospitality packages, contact our events team today on 02380 458900 or email info@britanniaevents.co.uk. You can also download our latest Cowes Week Sailing brochure.

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