Cowes Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh was amongst those present at a well attended meeting held at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on 17th January, which was called with the aim of bringing the Etchells World Championships back to Cowes in 2016.
Organised by Cowes Business Association with the Cowes Etchells Fleet, the meeting focused firstly on the introduction of a new International Etchells Invitational Cup this summer, with Cowes Fleet Captain David Franks expressing his hope that it will prove be a showcase event for Cowes.
Conversation then turned to the type of all inclusive offer that Cowes needs to produce (a single 'price per boat' cost for events), in order to compete with other yachting centres and attract sailing events such as the Etchells Worlds, which is currently destined to be held in Weymouth in 2016. It was agreed by several members of the audience that Cowes Harbour Commission's proposed 'Destination Cowes' partnership venture could provide the perfect model for this kind of enterprise.
Whilst Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht Haven, and UKSA have joined CHC Commissioners in confirming their financial backing for Destination Cowes, and in principal support has been received from East Cowes Town Council, in spite of the personal backing of Cowes Mayor Cllr Geoff Banks, the initiative is still awaiting an indication of support from Cowes Town Council itself.
In addition, CHC is awaiting confirmation as to whether the yacht clubs of Cowes will be on board with the Destination Cowes project. The Commissioners remain hopeful of achieving a unified approach, which is so important for initiatives such as these to be successful.
Anyone interested in supporting the formation of a Destination Cowes partnership, is encouraged to contact Capt. Stuart McIntosh at the Harbour Office by sending an email to email@example.com.
Photo: Etchells racing, 2013. Credit: Rob Goddard.