All in all yesterday was a pretty strange day of mixed emotions for me revisiting Cowes Week at leisure and catching up with my friends and one or two media colleagues. See my photo left!
Rather than publicly air my personal opinions (of which I have many but these are best kept to myself), I have decided to run this piece, written by Sue Pelling for the Cowes Week website and re-published here courtesy of CWL.
After day six of Cowes Week it was interesting to catch up with Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Ltd, to find out how he felt the week had gone so far. This is the first time in many years the week has been unsponsored but Stuart and his team have worked hard to ensure that the competitors’ overall experience is not significantly impacted.
According to Quarrie the feedback so far has been extremely positive. With yesterday’s conditions, there were always likely to be some classes which had less than perfect racing.”There was a 50:50 chance the wind would have stayed all day but sadly it disappeared. The only safe option yesterday would’ve been to have cancel the race but we didn’t think that was the right thing to do at the time because there was a chance the wind would have stayed for the day. As it turned out it might have been better to have cancelled and allowed competitors to enjoy time ashore; but that’s hindsight.”
That apart, says Quarrie, the week has gone well with a good variety of wind strengths to give all classes a fair chance. Talking about the entry numbers Quarrie added: “The entry numbers are down a bit but not significantly, we have 900 entries which means we’re still within 10 per cent of where we were last year. I think that’s brilliant given the extreme current financial climate.”
As far as Quarrie is concerned the lack of sponsorship this year is obviously not ideal but it has been the perfect opportunity to showcase the event to a number of potential companies. Quarrie added: “Because it’s such a great event it sells itself and we’re confident, as well as one can be, that we will have a new partner by this time next year. Although we are confident, we also have a back-up plan with a balanced budget, just in case.”
The dates for next year’s event are: 31 July to 7 August.
With thanks to Island Pulse for drawing my attention to this article http://www.islandpulse.co.uk/b2/stuart-quarrie-on-cowes-week-2009/
That’s it and all about it from me on this subject…for now! Oh, except ..apart from catching up with some of my favourite photographers, I also ran into Roger Johnson, Sports Editor from BBC South yesterday and I even managed some chinwag time with Dee Caffari earlier on at Southampton’s Red Jet terminal. This year Dee is reporting from Cowes for BBC South Today. Roger Johnson told me, accompanied by a slightly edgy laugh, that he is “in fear of being made redundant ‘cos Dee’s so good, they won’t need me next year”!