2010 sees a number of class changes:
We are delighted to welcome the Longtze class to Cowes Week as part of its European tour circuit. This sportboat is the result of a design by Steve Thomson, a New Zealand naval architect, and was developed and readied by the America's Cup team 'Le Defi'. Produced in Qingdao, sailing venue for the 2008 Olympics, the boat benefits from technologies developed by 'Le Defi' for Longtze, the first Chinese America's Cup class yacht. Longtze Premier combines the excitement of sailing a dinghy with the security of a small keelboat. While we will only see 7 of these colourful boats in 2010, we anticipate rapid growth in the future.
The 707, 1720 and Sonata fleets have been merged into a single mixed dayboat class this year. They will be using the same class flag, the same starts, courses and finishes but will have separate one-design fleet results. This both shortens the start sequence and also reduces the potential shorten course resources that may be required.
Following feedback from previous years, the number of IRC classes has been increased by two to reduce the average fleet size; these have been calculated purely on rating although wherever possible, boat types have been kept together.
Cruisers will have two options to enjoy Cowes Week racing this year:
A non-spinnaker class for the whole week using IRC as the rating system A class for a single day of racing on the final Saturday using the free and simple Island Sailing Club Rating System.
In addition to the traditional Cowes Week fleets, a number of exciting associated events will add some extra sparkle, including:
The Extreme Sailing Series (Saturday 31 July - Thursday 5 August): Following the initial leg in Sète, France, Cowes Week will host the second part of this exciting competition where the Extreme 40s will go head-to-head in a series of sprint racing. This year's races will take place from 3pm on the first three days and then 5pm thereafter to ensure sailors and non-sailors alike are able to watch this spectacular event while enjoying the atmosphere at the Extreme Sailing Series race village.
The 1851 Cup (Tuesday 3 August - Friday 6 August): This trophy event is the brainchild of TEAMORIGIN, the British America's Cup sailing team who, with the support of their challenging yacht club, the Royal Thames Yacht Club, have invited the America's Cup holders, BMW ORACLE Racing, to Cowes this summer to compete in a match race tournament. Racing will take place late afternoon off Cowes on Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Friday 6 August. On Thursday 5 August a race clockwise around the Island will take place over the historic original course that saw the birth of the America's Cup in 1851. The competition will be an incredible event involving some of the world's greatest sailors.
Artemis Challenge (Tuesday 3 August): The Artemis Challenge, now in its fourth year, sees a fleet of IMOCA 60s racing around the Isle of Wight raising money for good causes. Every year Artemis Investment Management donates a charity prize fund of £10,000 for the race, which goes to a charity of the winner's choice. Whilst the IMOCA 60 skippers are used to racing alone or with just one co-skipper, they will be joined for the Artemis Challenge by an experienced racing crew and some special celebrity guests.
The Artemis Challenge will start at 9.50am off the Royal Yacht Squadron on Tuesday 3 August.
How to keep up to date with what's happening on the water
Throughout Cowes Week stay tuned-in to Cowes Radio on 87.7FM for the latest commentary on what's happening out on the water, as well as news, entertainment, and of course the all-important results! This year will be particularly special as Cowes Radio celebrates their 25th birthday, broadcasting at Cowes Week.
In addition, EventTV, the official broadcast channel for Cowes Week, will be showing highlights of the racing action on screens throughout Cowes, together with a full classified results service and all the latest news, weather and racing information, live from Regatta HQ. EventTV is on-air 24 hours a day during the event, courtesy of Next Generation Results, Cowes Week's technology partner.
If you're following Cowes Week remotely, the official website at www.cowesweek.co.uk will provide you with the latest information around the clock.