This is the biggest corporate regatta in Europe and second biggest yacht regatta in the UK, only Skandia Cowes Week being larger. This year's entry was as big as ever with 240 yachts entered, ranging from 36 ft to 60ft+, Class 0 featured a TP52, the Farr 52 Chernikeef, several Farr 45s, a Kerr 45, as well as the new Class 40 Bolands Mill with Mark Eagling on board and the Volvo 60 Pindar.
The whole event is run superbly by the LBCC committee, with first class race management by the Royal Yacht Squadron. All competitors moor their yachts in Cowes each evening, giving some lively aprés sail back in the Yacht Haven and Cowes High Street. The marquee for the event seats well over 2000 for breakfast and dinner, without even spilling out onto the bar or dance floor areas.
In addition to Mark Eagling, other RCYC members seen there were Mark Jerram, Simon Cash and Paul Noonan skippering his company's entry for the 4th time. Chris Waples was the Navigator and Tactician on Amey Love Shack, a Beneteau 40.7 helmed by Tim Spalding, who started sailing in Optimists and is the only person to have won the Nationals twice. The safety boat service was also a RCYC organisation with members Mick Hill, Tim Howard and Gary Sullivan manning the RIBs.
The Love Shack did incredibly well following on from their class win in Cowes Week; not only was Chris Waples up on the stage Saturday night collecting the trophy for winner of Class 2 but also the overall Little Britain Challenge Cup, 1st out of 240 IRC yachts.
This is a truly great event and anyone associated with the industry and receiving an invitation to get on one of the yachts, or wishing to enter one themselves, should take up the opportunity.