Cowes Week returns to the Isle of Wight

On 6 August, the famous Cowes week will descend upon the Isle of Wight. This key event on the British sailing calendar will have racing at the forefront, but with Sail-In Cinemas, Red Arrow Displays and Extreme catamaran racing, there will be something for everyone.

The world famous Cowes Week will be kicking off this weekend on the Isle of Wight. Running from 6-13 August, the seven day event will see over 8 500 sailors racing on more than 1 000 boats in one of the few settings where you will witness weekend sailors competing alongside Olympic champions.

While Cowes Week is a key event on the British sailing calendar, there is plenty to do for those of you not involved in the racing. If you’re keen to spectate, there are excellent vantage points at the start line and along the course, and if you’re looking for some adrenalin-injected racing, the Extreme Sailing Series will be passing treacherously close to shore each afternoon. The fleet of 12 catamarans and 48 of the world’s top professional sailors will be competing over the seven days of Cowes Week in the only UK race of the series. Local boy Leigh McMillan will be skippering The Wave, Muscat, lining up against sailors from 14 other countries.

If, on the other hand, you’re happy to simply soak up the festival atmosphere, you are not alone. Cowes Week attracts upwards of 100 000 spectators each year, and along with daily entertainment, there will be a display from the incredible RAF Red Arrows and the world’s first Sail-In Cinema, appropriately showing Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. The famous Fireworks Display will be taking its traditional place on the evening of Friday 12 August.

For more details on where to go and what to see at Cowes Week, visit

Cowes Week will take place from Saturday 6th to Saturday 13th August in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The Extreme Sailing Series will be held at 3pm on Saturday 6 to Tuesday 9 August, and in the late afternoon on Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 August.
Keep posted for Julia McDonald’s feature next week after she gets involved this Saturday in some extreme catamaran racing.