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Close racing & challenging courses are on the agenda in June
Cowes, UK: The Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) has confirmed that it has extended invitations to eight of the most beautiful Big Class yachts in the world to come and grace the shores of the Solent and race in the second edition of the Westward Cup regatta, taking place 11-16 June 2012.
Run in association with the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) with the RYS as the Organising Authority, the Westward Cup was first held in July 2010 and was a tremendous success for everyone taking part. It marked the revival of and interest in Big Class yacht racing in the Solent and around the world.
The Clubs have now extended invitations to the owners of the following yachts to race in June:
Altair Cambria
Elena Eleonora
Lulworth Mariette
Mariquita Moonbeam IV
Speaking on behalf of the RYS, David Aisher, Rear Commodore Yachting, commented that after the immense success of the inaugural event in 2010, the organisers are delighted to once again be staging the Westward Cup in Cowes and are hoping for maximum take-up of the invitations to enter the Westward Cup 2012.He said:
"The Westward Cup is an event like no other, staged for owners of exquisite racing yachts who, apart from cherishing competitive racing opportunities, also enjoy relaxing and socialising in Cowes, the 'home of world yachting'. We host a superb social programme for the owners and their guests, captains and crews and, by staging the Westward Cup in Cowes, we are also providing all devotees of Big Class yachting a spectacle rarely seen in Solent waters."
The RYS will run the racing along the successful lines of 2010, making maximum use of the waters around the Isle of Wight to ensure the captains and crews enjoy challenging and competitive racing that only these waters can deliver. Racing will be scored under the International IRC Rule.
The RYS may also produce results under a modified CIM rule to enable comparison of results using a rule used at other regattas by these magnificent yachts. It is also the intention to include a race around the Isle of Wight, subject to weather conditions.
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Media Enquiries:
Peta Stuart-Hunt
Press Officer | Westward Cup
E: peta@prworksuk.com
M: +44 (0) 7711 477 707
DD: +44 (0) 1590 679 621
IMPORTANT: Media accreditation
  • As in 2010, the number of on-board racing places and press/photo boat places during the Westward Cup will be strictly limited and will only be allocated to those journalists and photographers with confirmed editorial commissions.
  • Until we have a confirmed line-up of attending yachts we will not start to allocate these places, all of which need to be approved by the Event's Organising Committee and the owners.
  • If you do not wish to receive further information relating to the Westward Cup, or you have received this email in error, please let us know by return.
Please contact Peta Stuart-Hunt by email in the first instance if you wish to be considered for media accreditation and please make clear whether you already have an editorial commission and supply details. Email: peta@prworksuk.com.
The Westward Cup - how it began
It was the dream of one man, Zbynek Zak, the owner of the largest of the four yachts that raced in 2010, Eleonora, that ignited the passion behind bringing this Regatta to life and to Cowes in 2010. The Westward Cup was initiated to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the launch of the racing schooner Westward in 1910. She was designed and built by one of the most successful yacht designers, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, in Bristol, RI, USA. She was one of the fastest and most famous of the Big Class racing yachts, regularly competing in Cowes and most successfully against King George V’s yacht Britannia, and other Big Class yachts.
Built in Holland at Van der Graaf Shipyard in steel, Eleonora was launched 90 years to the day of Westward’s launch, on 31 March 2000.
Tragically, Eleonora suffered a major blow to her racing capability when she lost her two top masts when out practice racing before the start of the 2010 regatta. The drastic outcome of losing around 45ft of mast and 50% of her sail plan put paid to this stunning Big Class yacht being able to race on an equal footing. However the owners maintained a full programme of competition and gave the thousands of spectators over the week plenty to cheer about as she elegantly manoeuvred around the Solent and was moored off Cowes for everyone to enjoy seeing each evening.
The overall winner of the Westward Cup 2010 was Tuiga. 2nd place overall went to Mariette and 3rd overall to Mariquita.