Cowes Week

Cowes Week is one of the highlights of the British sporting summer and has been since 1826. It's one of the UK's longest running sporting events. It is now the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world with some 40 races happening each day. The event lasts for eight days from the 31st of July to 7th August 2010, in the Solent waters off Cowes in Isle of Wight.

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Cowes Week mixes sailing with a good dose of shore-side events. For the sailing there will be over 8,000 competitors amongst those there will be Olympic and world class professionals, as well as enthusiastic beginners. You can expect to see a staggering 100,000 spectators who come to watch great sailing while enjoying the entertainment onshore.

The sensational Cowes Week Red Arrows display has become a regular fixture and this year will take place at 19:30 on Friday 6th August. This is the followed by a spectacular fireworks display that has now been secured for 2010 thanks to a generous anonymous donor. The display will take place on Friday 6th August at 21:30.

On the 2nd August efforts will be focused on the activities of the official charity with fundraising events and the showcasing of the charity's great work.

Daily live bands will play at a dedicated area for Cowes Week participants and friends at Shephards Wharf Marina. Entrance to the site is free, although Competitor Cards may be required at certain times. The late night crew bar is open until 02:00. Entry to Infernos Nightclub is free with a Competitor Card before 22:00 throughout the week (except Friday 6 August).

There will be a lively party atmosphere in the centre of Cowes at Cowes Yacht Haven where live acts will perform on The Gill Stage from 16:00 until late. Entrance this year will be free to all (excluding Fireworks night).

This year you can once again enjoy a celebration of women in sailing – one of very few mainstream sports where men and women compete on equal terms. Ladies Day will take place on Wednesday 4th August, with the Ladies Day Trophy being awarded to a female sailor who has achieved something special in their sport. A whole host of fun and celebratory activities will provide a focus for the day.

There is a chance to mingle with the two America's Cup teams, TeamOrigin and BMW Oracle Racing at the 1851 Cup Village on Cowes Parade. Here you can also watch all the Cowes Week racing fleets as they head to and from their start and finish lines and enjoy live entertainment throughout the week.

The Egypt Point race village welcomes Cowes Week participants and the general public to enjoy the great entertainment of the Extreme Sailing Series racing which takes place close to the shore each afternoon. Enjoy a relaxed drink, food, commentary and music.

Cowes itself will be a buzzing town throughout the regatta with street theatre and live entertainments, provided courtesy of Cowes Business Association.

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