Saturday 6th – Saturday 13th August
With visitors in excess of 100,000 descending on Cowes each year, they outnumber the town’s population of 9,663 ten to one.
Since 1826 when Cowes Week began it has been held on the Solent, between southern England and the Isle of Wight. With the number of onshore activities usually rivalling those of the 40 races a day, the event has a winning formula. Olympic and amateur competitors as well as cocktail parties, music and marquees always ensure huge crowds in the small town of Cowes.
Left to the discretion of the spectators, largely people opt for casual wear, a lot of the day will be spent exploring Cowes and enjoying activities. For those with invitations or memberships to clubs hosting champagne parties and dinners smart attire is suggested.
With music, entertainers, face painting and more based throughout the high street, families can often be seen enjoying the week. Come the evening, pubs and nightclubs open late, thus attracting those looking to enjoy this crucial event on sports social calendar. Equally those with interests ranging from fanatic to casual weekend sailor, are all welcome to enjoy the event.
What to do
Last year’s Cowes weekend epitomised the phrase ‘something for everyone.’ From sailing taster lessons to an outdoor cinema, the event really does encompass all ages, backgrounds and interests. Highlights include an aerobatic display by the Red Arrows and RAF Typhoons as well as a firework display to mark the end of the weekend. Marquees can be found in the marina offering food and drink, although many opt for the pubs and restaurants along the high street in town towards the evening. If you are feeling a little more adventurous there are a number of spectator boat options, offering trips to watch the racing action up close.
Cowes Yacht Haven and Cowes Parade provide live music throughout the day usually ending around 22:00. For those not ready to end the night Shepards Wharf Marina, home to Maggie’s nightclub, offers a venue for those looking to continue the celebrations into the early hours. The firework display, viewed by many as an integral part of Cowes week, takes place on Friday 12th August.