There are many great yacht races all over the world, everybody has heard of the famous America’s Cup but there are many others in fantastic locations that take place every year. In this blog we look at events such as Cowes Week, the Volvo Ocean Race and Antigua Sailing Week. These events produce not only quality racing but a great opportunity for sailors from all around the world to get together and socialize.
Some of these great events are on the ocean and some more coastal races but all pit boat against boat and the skill of sailor versus sailor. We start this blog with one of the most prestigious yacht races on the racing calendar and that is Cowes Week.
Cowes Week is one of the longest running and most successful sailing events not just in the UK but in the whole world. It was first held in 1826 and has taken place every year since, apart from the two world wars. Cowes Week has been graced by royalty and the good and great of society.
Traditionally the event takes place after Glorious Goodwood, and the celebrity set move on from one event to another. In 1826 the first event just featured seven yachts and was organized by the Royal Yacht Club. And the following year royal approval was bestowed upon the event when King George IV presented the King’s Cup.
Cowes was held as a three day event at the start then extra days have been added to keep up with the demand from race goers and spectators. The three day event was extended to over nine days with each sailing club running its own particular regatta. Then in 1964, Cowes became a combined event called Cowes Combined Clubs which involved, Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Southern Yacht Club, Royal London Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Southampton Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club.
Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race has been taking place since 1973, giving sailors an ultimate challenge. Last year the race was over forty five thousand nautical miles, crossing four oceans and taking in a dozen Host Cities along the way.
This most strenuous yacht race has been called the toughest professional sporting event in the world. And is generally considered to be the granddaddy of all sailing events, tougher than the America’s Cup or even the Olympic games sailing events.
It has become known as the pinnacle of sailing events, almost the Holy Grail of sailing and is an obsession with many sailors who have not won it. Some have even dedicated their whole lives in an attempt to win this most coveted of yacht races, almost like conquering the highest mountain. The media are allowed on-board with every team, and this constant media attention ensures that fans of the event have the very latest news of what is going on. It also gives a unique insight into what it takes to win this really competitive and grueling competition. In part two of this blog, we look at even more of the greatest yacht races held around the globe.