Plan Ahead: Cowes Week

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The Independent Online
COWES WEEK from 31 July to 7 August will be a busy occasion this year as the Admiral's Cup, the premier international sailing event for teams, will held in conjunction with the popular regatta.

The first race in the Admiral's Cup programme starts on 29 July with the Royal Yacht Squadron Trophy and finishes on 7 and 8 August when the fleet sets out from east Cowes for the Fastnet race. Apart from the cup, the eight handicap and 17 one-design classes, some 800 yachts, entered for Cowes week will ensure plenty of excellent spectating. The daily programme involves a race for each class at five-minute intervals from the start line in front of the Squadron. Deep water comes right to the shore, so it is possible to view at close quarters.

Other vantage points to the west of Cowes include The Green and the promenade towards Gurnard. There are two finishing lines to avoid congestion. The promenade at east Cowes affords views of the one-design classes, like the Dragons, Etchells and Flying Fifteens, as they race home. A spectator and souvenir guide will be produced to help distinguish between the various classes.

Medina Borough Council, the local authority, also organises several entertainments to complement the sailing, such as the Ball at the local Northwood House on 5 August and the fireworks display on 6 August, off west Cowes. The Isle of Wight tourism office, in Newport, provides a general accommodation guide and Cowes Tourist Information Centre can assist with all types of accommodation in the immediate area.

Cowes Week, 31 July to 7 August.

Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, 25 July to 8 August.

For further information, contact:

Cowes Combined Clubs Committee, 18 Bath Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7QN (0983-295744).

Medina Borough Council, 5 Lind Street, Ryde, IoW PO33 2NL (0983-520000).

Isle of Wight Tourism, Quay House, Town Quay, Newport, IoW PO30 2EF (0983- 524343).

Cowes Tourist Information Centre, The Arcade, Fountain Quay, Cowes, IoW PO31 3AR (0983-291914).

Ferries: Wightlink: car ferry, Portsmouth to Fishbourne and Lymington to Yarmouth; catamaran, Portsmouth to Ryde (0705- 827744). Red Funnel: car ferry, Southampton to East Cowes; hydrofoil, Southampton to West Cowes (0703-330333).

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