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2014 UK Sailing events – by Rupert Holmes

The coasts of the UK host the widest range of sailing events imaginable each year. Here are some of the best to be found in 2014.

England, south-west coast

Falmouth Classics
Falmouth, Cornwall, June 13-15
Good company, good entertainment, good sailing and free berthing for classic dinghies and yachts of up to 60ft that are built of traditional construction to a pre-1965 design.

Falmouth Week Regatta
Falmouth, Cornwall, August 8-17
Series of races over seven days with all classes of boat and type of sailor, from beginner to expert, catered for.

Fowey Royal Regatta
Fowey, Cornwall, August 17-24
Competitive racing for around 100 dinghies, keelboats and yachts, including the gaff rigged Falmouth Working Boats. There’s also a vibrant shore-side atmosphere and entertainment, with something for all the family in this picturesque Cornish fishing village.

Port of Plymouth Regatta
Plymouth, Devon, July 25 – August 1
Competitive racing for all classes of dinghies and yachts in Plymouth Sound. Benefits from spectacular locations to watch the racing plus evening entertainment and varied shore side events.

Torbay Week
Torquay, Devon, August 22-27
Popular annual event hosted by the four local yacht and sailing clubs in waters sheltered from the north, west and south. Racing is divided into IRC yachts, keelboats, dinghies and junior dinghies, with each course area managed by an experienced team. The event is timed to complement the nearby Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta.

Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta
Dartmouth, Devon, August 28-31
Highly-rated event for yachts racing under IRC, Portsmouth Yardstick and one design, plus several keelboat and dinghy classes. One of the UK’s largest regional regattas, with a carnival atmosphere on shore and after racing.

England, central south coast

Poole Week
Parkstone YC, Poole, Dorset, August 23-26
67-year-old event for close to 200 boats across 10 dinghy and three keelboat classes with courses set in the world’s second-largest natural harbour and on the sea in Poole Bay.

Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, May 30 – June 1
This small picturesque harbour will be filled with more than 100 visiting traditional sailing, steam and motor vessels. Racing and parade of sail for gaff rig vessels, plus popular on-shore festival atmosphere.

JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Cowes, Isle of Wight, June 21
One of the world’s largest yacht races, with an 80 year history, and regularly attracting 1,600-1,800 entries for a 50-mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight. An event for everyone from Olympic sailors – Sir Ben Ainslie smashed the race record last year in 2 hours 52 minutes – to family daysailers that may take 14 hours to complete the course.

Panerai British Classic Week
Cowes, Isle of Wight, July 12-19
A stunning spectacle of gorgeous classic yachts racing in the changeable waters of the Solent, plus a varied and fun social calendar and friendly camaraderie on and off the water.

Cowes Classics Week
Cowes, Isle of Wight, July 21-25
Well over 100 entries across Metre classes, classic keelboats and cruiser/racers with a design date of more than 50 years old.

Cowes Dinghy Week
Gurnard SC, Isle of Wight, July 26-31
Friendly, hotly contested regatta attracting around 150 entries across a number of dinghy and catamaran classes.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Cowes, Isle of Wight, August 2-9
The world’s oldest and largest regatta, regularly attracting up to 1,000 boats for eight days of racing. The 40 classes span almost every type of keelboat imaginable, as well as one design and handicap classes for yachts from less than 6m to 25m or more. Attracts up to 100,000 spectators, with an unrivalled après-race scene on shore.

Little Britain Challenge Cup

Cowes, Isle of Wight, September 4-7
An effective charity fundraiser and the premier construction and property industry event, first started in 1988, with racing run by the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron.

Swanwick, Bursledon and Warsash regatta
River Hamble, Hampshire, August 30-31
A weekend of racing, fun and parties on the Solent’s famed Hamble river that’s not to be missed.

Federation Regatta Week
Chichester Harbour, Hampshire/West Sussex, mid/late August
Fed Week is of the UK’s most popular dinghy regatta weeks, with more than 300 entries each year. A social event is held at a different club around the harbour each evening.

England, east coast

Ramsgate Week
Ramsgate, Kent, August 18-22
Royal Temple Yacht Club’s annual regatta attracts three IRC handicap classes for racing yachts, several one design fleets and three cruiser classes that race without spinnakers. It’s widely recognised as a friendly regatta that’s a lower cost alternative to Cowes.

Tollesbury Cruising Club Christmas Cruise
Tollesbury, Essex, December 7-8
The annual Christmas Cruise is to Bradwell this year, including a traditional pontoon party with seafood buffet, followed by a meal aboard.

Mersea Week
West Mersea, Essex, August 10-15
Family and friends-oriented week with racing for yachts, dinghies and traditional fishing boats in the sheltered waters of the River Blackwater. Traditions including a dinghy sailing race round Mersea island in which the boats must be lifted across the causeway.

Burnham Week
Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, August 23-30
Premier east coast sailing regatta, with racing for around 150 boats across 17 classes for yachts, multihulls, dayboats and dinghies. Format allows boats to enter for racing on the weekends only, or all week.

Royal Yorkshire YC Regatta
Bridlington, East Yorkshire, early August
A week of racing for yachts and keelboats in four classes attracting entries from 19-33ft.

Whitby Regatta
Whitby, North Yorkshire, August 9-11
Four days of entertainment, yacht racing and rowing races, finishing with a prize presentation and spectacular firework display.

East Coast Sailing Week
Blyth, Northumberland, July 10-13
Annual event held in either north-east England or the east coast of Scotland. Developed over the past 26 years to become the premier yachting event on the northern-most parts of the east coast.


Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series
Tarbert, Argyll and Bute, May 23-26
Clyde Cruising Club’s annual event has long been recognised as Scotland's premier keelboat racing regatta. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the event is held in scenic west coast village of Tarbert, Loch Fyne, and aims to welcome over 100 yachts into the harbour this year, where shore side hospitality will be enjoyed as much as the four days of competitive racing.

West Highland Yachting Week
Craobh, Oban and Tobermory, July 12-18
Regatta with feeder races taking in three venues in the stunning scenery of Scotland’s west coast. Regularly attracts around 100 yachts in 10 classes.

Clydeport Largs Regatta Week
Largs, Ayrshire, August 24 – September 1
A popular week of racing for a large dinghy fleet and a smaller group of yachts and keelboats, with a varied programme.‎


Menai Straits Regatta
Anglesea, July 26 – August 9
Two weeks of racing, the first finishing at a different port each day. Includes a race from Beaumaris to Caernarfon under the famous bridges and through the rock-strewn Swellies channel, with its monster tidal streams. The second week's racing takes place near Beaumaris and includes the Round Puffin Island Race.

Abersoch Keelboat Week
Abersoch, Gwynedd, late August
Fun regatta for more than 50 yachts with a serious edge held on the waters of Cardigan Bay with stunning views of Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula. For family members left ashore, the beaches offer clean sand with warm and clear waters.