We always get into trouble when we write about Cowes Week. It’s a cliche, but we only criticise because we care. Rather than sit back and watch as a once great event becomes a shabby imitation of a spectacular tradition, we seek to offer suggestions as to how the regatta can become more relevant in admittedly difficult, but also changing times.
Great news then that promoters of the iShares Cup and evangelists for sailing as a spectator sport, OC Events, have announced that they will bring the iShares Cup race village to Cowes Week with a public bar and tented village open all week on Egypt Point.
Traditionally, Cowes week’s focus has been the Yacht Haven and Esplanade which is great for competitors at the end of the day, but the view is not exactly compelling unless you want to watch the Red-Funnel Ferries.
The iShares Cup Extreme bar moves the action to a place where spectators naturally gravite towards (if they know Cowes and where they are going.)
The iShares Cup will also provide real entertainment for those ashore by setting short, sharp courses set just off the Esplanade. Spectators will be able to get an up-close view of the thrills and spills of Extreme 40 racing.
The Extreme Bar will stay up for the rest of the week, giving fans something to do between the time Cowes Week traditional classes leave the start line and return to view hours later.
See you there….