The summer sailing season has begun. At aBoatTime were are passionate about all things in the nautical world and all that it offers us throughout the year. Sailing yachts, enjoying snorkelling and all other water sports or simply relax on the beach under the morning sun: just some of our favourite things. However, as good sailors, we want to pay a little more attention to one of our favourite hobbies: sailing races. Therefore, we are proud to present to you the start of the regatta season!
Every summer sailors from all over flock the the UK coast to take part in some of the most important sailing regattas in the world. The country’s expansive coastline and long sailing heritage make for some of the most exciting and competitive racing to be found anywhere. And now, with british sailing at an all time high with success being had across all categories, it is safe to say that this summer’s turnout will be better than ever.
Cowes Week is probably the most famous and certainly the oldest of its kind in the world of sailing regattas, taking place on the beautiful south coast of England since the year 1826 and everyone from olympic sailors to amateur yachtsmen taking part. This year around 8,500 competitors in 1,000 boats and more than 20 different classes will compete over a week (this year it takes place from the 2nd to the 9th of August) and are expected to be watched by over 100,000 spectators. This event doesn’t just attract sailing enthusiasts strictly, with many celebrities attending lavish events held throughout the regatta including fireworks shows and RAF flyovers.
Weymouth speed week is a different sort of sailing event from the traditional sailing regatta with competitors on various wind powered craft from kite surfers to 50 foot yachts over a distance of 500m. This short format makes for excelleny viewing and therefore brings its fair share of spectators to Portland Harbour: a sheltered bay of water, providing calm conditions for the speed event. The event sees world record holders competing along side complete amateurs to create an extremely varied field and the fastest record ever set was 38 knots on a windsurfer. This regatta takes place in October as the winds start to increase, allowing for maximum speed.
Even if you aren’t a skilled sailor yourself but the nautical world appeals to you: these events are a great way to get into it. With the vast majority of the spectating areas available to the public its a great chance to go down and cheer on your nation for free. The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) website is a great place to start if you want to find a local event in anthing from dinghy sailing to windsurfing or even powerboat racing.