Carswell Gould's guide to Cowes Week

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40 daily races, 1000 boats and around 8,500 competitors - Cowes Week (8-15 August) is one of the biggest events on the south coast's calendar and plays a key part of British sporting history. With even more of the team at Carswell Gould interested in sailing after our latest adventure out on the Solent, we have asked the team what they are looking forward to over one of the most exciting weeks of the summer. 

Thrilling racing

As well as keeping up with the race results back at the office, creative director, Ed, and PR manager, Laura, have been welcomed aboard Red Funnel's team boat for an exhilarating day of hi-speed racing on the Solent. They will be tacking and jibing around the Island on August 12.

We know you catch the best action from the Island so we will be hopping on a Red Funnel ferry to Cowes to secure our spots. Some of Carswell Gould's favourites include The Green in Cowes, where you can sit with a picnic, and the Royal Yacht Squadron Castle, where you can hear the cannons boom as races begin.

If you're itching to get out on a boat but aren't as confident in your sailing capabilities, there are plenty of spectator boats willing to take you out on the water to get the best vantage points of all the racing.

Live music

Second to the world-class racing, Cowes Week is known for its wide ranging entertainment and apres-sailing options. The Gill Stage at Cowes Yacht Haven has hosted some extraordinary acts in its history and this year will see X Factor finalist, Ray Quinn, Queen tribute act, The Bohemians, and Island favourite, Soul Lounge, entertain the crowds.

With music genres ranging from acoustic to rock and folk to soul, there's something for everyone to excited by.

Great food and drink

Cowes High Street is home to some of our favourite restaurants and cafes, so there is no shortage of pubs for weary seafarers to stop in for a home cooked meal. As well as grabbing a burger from The Harbour Kitchen, sandwiches from Tiffins, we will be revelling in the food stalls at Cowes Yacht Haven. We might even pop our heads into Cowes longest bar on Friday night at the marina.

Boss up a mast

Not content with just sending Ed racing around the Solent, we thought he might enjoy hanging out 100ft above it as well. For UKSA's Boss Up a Mast challenge, Ed will be winched to the top of the mast of an ocean-going Farr 65, where he must tweet a selfie and will only be let down again once he's raised enough money for UKSA.

UKSA is a youth charity that believes in the power of the sea to make a change; helping young people transform their lives for the better. You can donate to Ed's dizzying challenge here.

Celeb spotting

Along with sailing stars to be spotted throughout the week, The Artemis Challenge on 13 August always attracts celebrity guests. In the past Zara Phillips, Mike Tindall, James Haskell, Davina McCall and Bryan Adams have taken part.


Fireworks have lit up the skies on the final Friday of Cowes Week for centuries. This year crowds gathering on the 14th will also be treated to an RAF Typhoon display, performing at speeds of up to 690mph. For great views of the spectacular displays and an electric atmosphere, head to Cowes Yacht Haven, where tickets are £5 for the evening. You'll even be able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks over the water from the mainland. 

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