Cowes Week Limited, organisers of Cowes Week, one of the world’s best-known sailing regattas and a highlight of the British sporting summer, are delighted to announce that they will continue their youth initiative which offers discounted entry fees to boats with crews of under 25 year olds.
The Cowes Week Under 25 Youth initiative, which has been running since 2012 has succeeded in doing what it was originally designed for – inspiring and making it possible for young people to race at Cowes Week.
By offering an extremely attractive package to young sailors under the age of 25, numbers have, not surprisingly, increased over the last few years. Entries for the Under 25 Trophy at the 2015 regatta attracted 37 young teams, while entries for the Young Skipper Trophy reached an impressive 51.
This year Cowes Week Ltd is offering the first 25 crews to enter, who are all under age 25 at the time of the regatta, a 50% discount on the entry fee. The sooner teams sign up the more chance there is of securing one of the highly desirable discounted places.
Kate Johnson, Commercial & Marketing Director at Cowes Week Ltd commented “We are committed to making racing at Cowes Week more attractive and cost-effective for the next-generation of sailors, and are delighted by the increase in youth entries over the past few years. Now going into the fifth year of the initiative we are very pleased to be able to offer the first 25 boats to enter with a full crew of under 25 year olds a 50% discount on their entry fee.”
Competition in the Under 25 Trophy couldn’t have been more intense in 2015 with Jack Davies and his team on the J/70 Jugador out to defend their title from 2014. However, overall it was Hugo Sloper and his team on the Itchenor-based Swallow Marengo who just managed to out-smart Team Jugador in the overall rankings, and win by over 11pts.
Equally impressive was the performance of Will Heritage (14), who cleaned up in the Young Skipper’s Trophy fleet. Sailing his Flying 15 Freddie Flintoff with his father David, Will sailed well all week and was able to break Sloper’s domination of the youth sector and lift the Trophy.
Alex Downer (13) – the youngest skipper competing at Cowes Week in 2015 – was an inspiration too. He was sailing a relatively old, 1978-built Squib, Panther 3, with crewman Jon Evans. Offering advice to other youngsters considering taking part this year, Downer said: “After two days I was hooked. It is a fantastic regatta but to do well, learning about the Solent tides is essential.”
Teams wishing to take advantage of discounted entry fees should make their entry as soon as possible by calling the Regatta Office on 01983 295744 or visiting the website www.cowesweek.co.uk
Cowes Week 2016 takes place from the 6-13th August.
Image: Rick Tomlinson