This year, Skandia, together with the UKSA, is throwing open the search by targeting the UK's sailing clubs, looking for sailors of all abilities who may not usually have the opportunity to sail at Skandia Cowes Week.
Crews will be selected from five different regions of the UK and all will compete in the Sonar class. Each team will consist of three sailors who will be joined by a fully qualified UKSA instructor. Full board and accommodation is being provided in Cowes by the UKSA and each team is also being given the use of a Sonar in which to compete.
'We felt the time was right to open up the squad to people who may not have the resources or experience to compete at Skandia Cowes Week,' says Skandia's sponsorship manager, Tim SEWELL. 'By linking with the UKSA, we are able to invite sailors of all abilities - and that includes disabled sailors - to apply. This new format provides a fantastic opportunity for sailors in the UK who perhaps thought racing at Skandia Cowes Week was out of their reach.'
Skandia Cowes Week this year runs from 30 July-6 August. It is a firmly established fixture in the traditional line-up of British Summer 'Season' events and is the longest-running and largest sailing regatta in the world and was first held in 1826.
Skandia Cowes Week attracts up to 1,000 competing yachts and some 8,000 competitors from leading Olympic and professional sailors to families pushing their cruising yachts to new limits and it is one of the world's leading pro-am events.
Applications for the Skandia Squad will be considered from teams residing in the UK but all team members must be over the age of 18 years.
The closing date for applications is 13 June 2005.