Setting Sail - The Directory Group

Setting sail

By Poppy Baker

World-class professionals and weekend sailors will be rubbing shoulders on the solent this month, as thousands of visitors flock to soak up the festival atmosphere at the iconic Cowes Week (6th-13th August).

Among the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events, Cowes Week has been held in early August every year since 1826, with the only exceptions being the two World Wars.

Cowes Week has grown from being a small event with just seven yachts competing, to welcoming around 8,000 competitors and around 100,000 spectators.

Not only do the fantastic sailing events draw such a crowd, but so do the celebrations such as great live music, delicious food and a superb selection of beers and cocktails.

Watch from ashore…

The start line is located between the Castle of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the cannons, where you can stand or sit on the shore to watch the boats starting the race. After this, you can saunter down the green towards Egypt Point, where you can watch the boats finish!

Watch from afloat…

There are a few options available if you are interested in watching the event from the water, such as spectator boats and rib rides. This allows you to have a fantastic view of the race and enjoy a memorable experience.

Watch the fireworks…

Since the first regatta, the fireworks have been a spectacular event held every year on the Friday night. Many people believe this event plays an integral part in the week-long celebrations that is Cowes Week, so make sure you don’t miss it if you’re planning on heading down.

If all this makes you want to give sailing a go yourself, you will be given a brilliant opportunity to give it a try thanks to UKSA, who are running ‘open to all’ sailing sessions for just £5 for an hour of guided sailing tuition. Furthermore, if you’re interested in joining one of the races, visit for information on how to get involved. 

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, and Meon Valley