Sport

Cowes Week makes a splash

Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT) August 14, 2015
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Cowes Week is one of the longest running and best-known sailing regattas in the world -- it started back in 1826 -- and plays a key role in the British sporting and social summer calendar. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The week stages up to 40 daily races for around 1,000 boats and boasts 8,500 professional and amateur competitors. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The event takes place each August on the Solent -- the area of water lying between southern England and the Isle of Wight -- and lasts for eight days. This year's regatta is taking place between August 8-15. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The sheltered waters and unusual tidal conditions of the Solent ensure challenging sailing for competitors. The majority of classes sail varied "round-the-cans" courses designed to suit the style of boat and the wind and tide conditions each day. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
"It was extremely hard going out there today. Although the wind was a bit up and down it wasn't out of the ordinary," said Eldred Himsworth of Drumbeat, winner of this year's Contessa 32 category. "Doing well today was all about concentration and boat speed." Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) has been running the event since 1964 after local sailing clubs realized there were significant benefits in having one central body coordinating the racing. Before then, each day of racing was run by a different Cowes or Solent mainland club. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Racing for all classes was abandoned on day four this year, with no prospect of any wind filling in over the Solent and too much cloud for there to be a chance of a sea breeze. "It was really unfortunate to lose a day's racing," race director Stuart Quarrie said. "But with no wind there was no other option." Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Alex Downer, aged, 13, is the youngest skipper competing at this year's Cowes Week. "I am really enjoying the regatta, not only the racing but also the camaraderie among those of similar age," Downer said. "It is great fun, and I would highly recommend it to other young sailors looking to compete in Cowes Week." Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Cowes Week attracts over 100,000 spectators each year -- but there is more on offer than just the sailing. The town provides live entertainment and a number of balls and parties to ensure there is a lively atmosphere throughout the week. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The regatta has a history of luring some big names, with Olympic silver medalist equestrian Zara Phillips and her ex-England rugby player husband Mike Tindall among the celebrities attending day six of this year's event. Naval warships, superyachts and square-riggers can also be seen around Cowes during the week. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
"We all enjoyed it, it was a fantastic day on the water and, as always the team worked exceptionally well," said Charlie Esse of J70 class winner Darwin Property Investment Management Ltd. LEARN MORE: CNN at Cowes Week Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images