Skandia Cowes Week preview

There is a lot going on and here is the Daily Sail's look at next week's highlights
Skandia Cowes Week has come around again - and this time for the last time. For starting on Saturday, the 182nd edition of Cowes Week marks the end of Skandia's impressive 14 year backing of the UK’s premier regatta, for which we believe the whole sailing community thank them. Rather scarily though, at present no one has stepped in to fill the void of the title sponsorship spot for 2009. In a statement Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Ltd said: “Skandia has been a fantastic partner to Cowes Week for 14 years and has worked hard with us to develop the regatta, and Cowes, in so many positive ways. A heart-felt thank you goes out to Skandia, and we will enjoy celebrating all that has been achieved during our 14-year relationship with them at this year’s regatta. “Looking ahead to the future of Cowes Week and life after Skandia, our ideal scenario had been to announce a new partner in advance of this year’s event. Although discussions are progressing well, we are not in a position to make an announcement before or during the regatta. However, we do have every confidence that Cowes Week will have a new partner in place in good time for the 2009 regatta. “Cowes Week is a superb event that has a huge amount to offer, and of course it’s important to remember that the regatta has run very successfully for over 180 years, going from strength to strength; we are in no doubt that this will continue into the future.” This year 8500 crew are expected to be racing on the 900-950 yachts due to take part over the eight days of racing. While the bulk of the fleet are from the UK, international entries include: Australia (1), Belgium (6), France (4), Germany (2), Hong Kong