Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2013

Rick Tomlinson Photography / www.rick-tomlinson.com
CEO Stuart Quarrie brings us up to speed about this year's event
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is looming, set ot run over 3-10 August, back to its normal time slot having been displaced by the Olympic Games last year. So what is new this year? There are a few positive signs in the sports boat arena. Firstly the SB20s are back in force, the class under new management (aka Alan Hillman and Jerry Hill of Sportsboat World) following its separation from Laser. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will be the third and last of the SB20’s inaugural Grand Slam tour that started in Hyeres in May and has since visited Malescine on Lake Garda. The final Grand Slam event will take place over the first four days of Cowes Week. As a departure from the standard Cowes Week format the Grand Slam races will feature two races per day. According to Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week, this may be the “thin end of the wedge” as already the J/70 class has asked if they too can sail two races/day and one imagines that there may be more to come if the keener classes follow suit. In terms of the growth areas, Quarrie says that the Js remain on the ascent in particular the newer J/70 and J/111s, both of whom have their own classes at Cowes Week (along with the perennial J/80 and J/109) with nine and seven entries respectively, although with more expected to enter before kick-off. Another new development is that Cowes Week has also been selected for the first time as the qualifying event for sportsboats interested in participating in the 2014 EFG Pan American Sport Boat Championship to be held in March in Miami. This event is held in conjunction with the Bacardi Cup and Miami Sailing Week. While the Bacardi Cup is famously a Star boat event, the