Good and Bad news for Cowes Week. The good news is that the OC Events run iShares Cup brought visitors and money to the town during the opening days of the traditional regatta. The bad news is that now Cowes Week needs to work to retain a spot on the popular European tour for the eXtreme 40 catamarans.
It was the third time that the iShares Cup had been held at Cowes Week but 2009 saw an all-new set up, including the first ever public viewing area for both iShares Cup and Cowes Week racing at Egypt Point.
The organisers estimate that 30,000 spectators packed the shoreline along Egypt Esplanade over the three days of iShares Cup racing from August 1st-3rd 2009, with hundreds visiting the iShares Cup race village – on the final afternoon of racing over 1,500 people entered the race village in just a single hour.
OC Events Director, Gilles Chiorri, commented:
“As organisers of the iShares Cup we were really pleased with the outcome this year and felt we had achieved our objective of creating a genuine entertainment event for the public. The decision on the UK venue for 2010 and 2011 will be made in the coming months following the tender process that all potential host venues around Europe are currently responding to, and we hope the Isle of Wight will participate in this tender process so they can bid to retain the iShares Cup event at Cowes Week.”
This year’s iShares Cup race village was also a unique addition to Cowes Week because it provided a fantastic viewing area for the entire duration of the Cowes Week racing, with an estimated 13,000 visitors enjoying the public bar and race village which remained open right through until the end of the regatta on August 8th.
Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Ltd said:
“Being able to have the Extreme 40s racing close inshore just added to the marvelous spectacle of Cowes Week. Having a public viewing area at Egypt Point must have hugely added to the enjoyment of spectators for the rest of the week, and we look forward to working with OC Events to hopefully bring the UK edition of the iShares Cup back to Cowes next year.”
However, the event brought more than just entertainment to Cowes Week. OC Events estimate that an additional £500,000 revenue for the Island economy (the calculations are at the bottom of the article!).
Even without the spectators, the iShares Cup entourage brings with it 9 visiting teams and support crews, and hundreds of VIPs and guests all utilising local accommodation, restaurants, travel services. In addition the infrastructure of the event utilises many island services including caterers, security, RIBs, power and other utilities.
The organisers, OC Events, know better than most what kind of econoic impact an event like the iShares Cup brings to the economy of the Isles of Wight. The East-Cowes based company headed up by Mark Turner and Dame Ellen MacArthur employs 55 people and additional 150 staff were employed for the iShares Cup at Cowes.
Local Economic Impact stats:
- 500 VIP visitors
- 100 competitors including team support
- 200 event organisation personnel
- Over 50 media/PR representatives (international, national and local)
- Estimated 30,000 strong audience over the 3 days
- Estimated additional 3,000 people-nights in local hotels, B&Bs or apartments
So how does OC get the £500,000? Well here’s the calculation.
£300,000 generated by 500 visitors based on 1 person spending £120 per day x 5 days (£120 = Accommodation £50.00 / Food £30.00 / Beverages £20.00 / Travel £20.00)
£200,000 revenue for local businesses eg food and drink suppliers, licensing, caterers, security, power and utilities.