Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Services
Newsletter 31st July 2018
Royal visit to Cowes & celebration of Island shipbuilding
The Isle of Wight welcomed a Royal visitor last week when HRH the Duchess of Cornwall was here for a number of engagements, including the naming of Red Funnel’s new Island-built fast ferry Red Jet 7 in Cowes. The prestigious ceremony, held at Cowes Harbour Commission’s Trinity Landing, was attended by civic dignitaries, invited guests and members of the public, as well as 300 children from local schools. 

It is Cowes Harbour Commission’s strategic policy to support marine employment on the River Medina and it is extremely encouraging to witness the resurgence of aluminium shipbuilding on the Island through companies such as Wight Shipyard and Aluminium Marine Consultants. The building of the Red Jet 7 in East Cowes by Wight Shipyard employed some 85 skilled Island craftsmen and several apprentices, sustaining local shipbuilding jobs, developing manufacturing skills and acting also as a showcase and potential catalyst for future marine industry contracts. 

Meanwhile, congratulations are due this month to two of our Commissioners, Chris Preston, who is Commissioner for Stakeholder Relations and Nick Elderfield, who holds the Conservation and Environment portfolio. The RYA has recently appointed Chris Preston, who has over 50 years’ experience of racing and cruising, as the new Chair of its Board. Chris is looking forward to working with the RYA team to maintain momentum in meeting the future challenges of UK boating, and to supporting the Association’s membership throughout the UK in all areas of the sport.

Meanwhile, Commissioner and Gurnard sailor Nick Elderfield was one of the successful crewmen onboard the Round the Island Race winning boat, High Potential . Despite the tricky conditions, the team on High Potential sailed an impressive race to win the top accolade, the Gold Roman Bowl, in 8 hours, 30 minutes and 3 seconds. 

Now the Harbour Commission’s focus is very much on Lendy Cowes Week that starts this Saturday, so may I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the relevant Notices to Mariners highlighted below, and let’s hope the continuing fine weather delivers those champagne sailing conditions that Cowes is renowned for.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh - Cowes Harbour Master

Photo: Red Jet 7 naming at Trinity Landing © Jake Sugden Photography
Lessons learned from harbour incidents & MAIB reports
The cause of many leisure vessel incidents in Cowes Harbour can be traced back to just a couple of key factors, lack of proper preparation and planning. 

Last year, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) Patrol Officers were called to over 70 incidents that could have been avoided through proper preparation and passage planning prior to a trip out on the water. The incidents included:
• Running out of fuel
• Engine failure 
• Taking on water and bilge pump not working
• Running aground 
• Fouled prop due to cutting through moorings 
• Being lost or not knowing a berth’s location

By planning your passage you will also discover where there may be speed and wash restrictions; it’s like knowing where all the speed cameras are and slowing down so that you don’t get a ticket!

Construction of a lay-berth in East Cowes
A dredge and works licence application has been submitted to CHC by Ramboll on behalf of the Red Funnel Group.

This application seeks to secure consent to complete dredging and construction work to establish the new lay-by berth for the planned Red Funnel freight only service. The site is to the north of the current Red Funnel East Cowes berth. 

The freight ferry is due to enter service in early 2019, and will be in addition to the existing Red Funnel car ferry service. The freight ferry will discharge via the existing linkspan on the main berth at the East Cowes Ferry Terminal when it is not in use by the “Raptor” class car ferries. There will be no connection to land/shore access from the proposed lay-by berth.

Must read Notices for Lendy Cowes Week 2018
Local Notice to Mariners No. 17(T) has now been issued for Lendy Cowes Week 2018 with details on start and finish lines, racing mark buoys, The Precautionary Area, plus safety and navigation advice.

Additionally, skippers taking part in the regatta are advised to familiarise themselves with all current Cowes Local Notices to Mariners, in particular: 
14 of 2018 – Speed and Wash
13 of 2018 – Amendments to General Directions
06 of 2018 – Tidal Flows in Cowes
05 of 2018 – Safety of Navigation

Further harbour information for competitors is contained in the Cowes Week Ltd regatta safety booklet .

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - a mighty challenge
The 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will start on Sunday, 12th August from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes. This Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest of all yacht races. First organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in 1995, the 1,805nm course is reputedly harder than a transatlantic race as it negotiates headlands with tidal challenges all around the UK, as well as the notorious British weather. The Race is on a four-year cycle because of its toughness, which is a step up from a typical RORC offshore and even the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Photo: Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland 2014 © Hamo Thornycroft
Classic Boat Museum opens its doors
We are pleased to hear that once again the Classic Boat Museum's yachts, motor and lifeboats are now open to view by the public in Cowes. Over 50 yachts and boats have a new home in Cowes in one of the historic boat sheds under the Hammerhead Crane.

Photo: Classic Boat Museum © Hamo Thornycroft
OGA 55th anniversary
The Old Gaffers Association (OGA) is celebrating their 55th anniversary with two rallies taking place on the River Medina this August. The Dinghy & Small Boat Rally from 11th to 15th August will be a feeder event to the OGA55 celebration and will cater for dinghies and small trailerable gaffers. The main OGA55 Anniversary Rally runs from 16th to 19th August. Further information is available at and .