Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Services
Newsletter 7th August 2019
Safe Sailing at Cowes
With so many major events taking place in Cowes this month, Cowes Harbour Commission is running a safety and speeding campaign to remind boat users about the “6 knots – no wash” rule in the Inner Harbour and within 100m of the Mean High Water Mark. The safety campaign also highlights key advice about wearing lifejackets, using kill cords, and not mixing drinking with boating. Please read our lead article below and click on the link to view all 4 top safety tips online. This information will also be issued as a Local Notice to Mariners and the 6 knot speed limit will be strictly enforced by our Patrol Officers over the coming weeks.

Cowes Week 2019 commences this Saturday, 10th August. As usual, our Cowes Harbour Services afloat team has laid extra moorings in Cowes for many of the yachts entered in the regatta, plus, this year, the team was contracted to lay bespoke moorings over at Hythe and Southampton specifically to accommodate SailGP’s F50 wingsailed catamarans. At Cowes, we have also put out six adapted moorings for the SailGP boats along M Row off The Green.

Cowes is renowned for its champagne sailing conditions, although there is some unsettled weather on the horizon at the moment with strong winds forecast for Friday and Saturday, so do remember to check the condition of your mooring ropes, and anchor if you will be using it. Despite the vagaries of the English weather, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Cowes Week.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh - Cowes Harbour Master
Essential safety information for boat users at Cowes
Cowes Harbour Commission’s number one priority and responsibility is to maintain a safe harbour for all. Equally, it is the responsibility of all boat owners, agents, charterers, marinas, yacht clubs and sailing organisations to ensure the Cowes Harbour General Directions and Local Notices to Mariners are made known to the masters or persons in charge of their vessels or craft.

Here in Cowes it is set to be an exciting week with three major events about to take place, The King’s Cup (8th-9th Aug.), SailGP Cowes (8th-11th Aug.) and Cowes Week (10th-17th Aug.). At this time, it is important to highlight to harbour users the 4 top safety tips to ensure you stay safe on the water and don’t cause a danger to other vessels, property, or persons, including families with children on the beaches, particularly along Prince’s Green in Cowes where swimming is popular:

1. Inner Harbour speed limit 6 knots – no wash.
2. Wear a lifejacket.
3. Wear a kill cord on-board powered craft.
4. Don’t drink and go boating.

Inner Harbour speed limit 6 knots – no wash
Cowes is one of the busiest leisure ports in the UK and in this busy marine environment it is essential that harbour users respect the regulations on speed and wash in Cowes Harbour and know where these rules apply. The red line on Figure 1 below indicates the northern boundary of the Inner Harbour and the speed limit of 6 knots with no wash:  
Figure 1: Red line indicates northern boundary of the Inner Harbour and speed limit of 6 knots - no wash

Cowes Inner Harbour rules on speed and wash - key points:
  • The speed limit in the Inner Harbour is 6 knots through the water.

  • The 6 knot speed limit applies in the Inner Harbour at Cowes and within 100 metres of the Mean High Water Mark west and east of the harbour entrance as far as Egypt Point and Old Castle Point.

  • Navigate with care and caution and keep a good lookout all around for other vessels and for swimmers in the water off the beach at Prince’s Green in Cowes.

  • Do not create wash in any part of the Inner Harbour and within 100 metres of the shore from Egypt Point to Old Castle Point.

  • Cowes Harbour Commission’s emphasis is on education in the first instance, but CHC will, if required, take enforcement action.

SailGP ready for European debut in Cowes
On 10th and 11th August, SailGP, the fastest sail racing in the world, will serve as the opening feature of the iconic Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight when it makes its debut on European waters.

With the competition still wide open and two events remaining, Cowes SailGP is an important milestone for the competing countries. Not least for the Great Britain SailGP Team, helmed by Olympian Dylan Fletcher, who are more pumped than ever as they prepare to race in front of a home crowd for the first time.

With numerous free and ticketed spectator options available onshore and afloat, the crowds are expected to come out in force to cheer on the red, white and blue home team.

What’s new for Cowes Week 2019
This is going to be a very special Cowes Week as organisers integrate SailGP as a feature event of the first weekend. The Cowes Week Sailing Instructions have been updated so that hopefully racing can be completed in all reasonably normal wind scenarios, bearing in mind that well known saying "it's never normally like this here"! Start times are broadly the same as last year but there will be a new start and finish line option, one in the eastern and one in the western Solent so that in the case of a late sea breeze races can still get away if the timing overlaps with SailGP. Cowes Week races should finish by 1500 so that boats get a chance to return to Cowes and watch the awesome spectacle of SailGP F50s racing, and visit the Cowes Week official shoreside venues at Cowes Parade Village, Shepards Marina, Cowes Yacht Haven, and Northwood House.

Photo: Cowes Week 2018 - Credit Tom Gruitt
The King's Cup is a major sailing event hosted by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in support of their charitable causes.

Due to adverse weather conditions forecasted for Friday in Cowes, The King’s Cup will now take place on Thursday, 8th August at 1400hrs.

Members of the public and families are invited to watch the race and prize giving ceremony from the SailGP Race Village, which will be free to access and includes a 500-seater grandstand. Footage from the race will play on large screens with live commentary.

If you haven’t been on a Royal Yacht Squadron start line before, tomorrow’s your chance to experience the excitement and anticipation of the golden canons firing!

Find out more on The King's Cup website and Facebook page .
Style of Wight appointed publisher of Cowes Harbour Handbook
Cowes Harbour Commission has announced that Style of Wight Ltd, producer of the inspirational lifestyle magazine, Style of Wight , will be the new publisher of the annual Cowes Harbour Handboo k.

“We are very pleased to be working with the editorial and business team that built Style of Wight into the leading lifestyle title on the Island,” said Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh. “The appointment of Style of Wight as new publishers of the Cowes Harbour Handbook opens up tremendous opportunities for the Handbook to benefit from Style of Wight’s proven track record of high quality publications and established lifestyle advertising expertise and relationships."