Aug 8

Cowes Racing Week

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Sailboats at Argenteuil
Auguste Renoir, 1874
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~ "The Voyage Alone in the Yawl Rob Roy, from London to Paris and Back by Havre, the Isle of Wight, South Coast, &C., &C", John MacGregor, 1868

A large number of English idioms and phrases come from the sailing world! If you've ever been told to "pipe down", this phrase comes from the last signal from the Bosun’s pipe each day, which indicated it was the time for lights-out, to quiet down, and time to go to bed. Cowes Week is one of the longest-running and largest regular regattas in the world. Beginning in 1826, the event is held in August each year on the Solent (the area of water between southern England and the Isle of Wight made tricky by strong double tides). "Aye, aye, skipper!" ⛵⛵⛵

Cowes Week  is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. With 40 daily sailing races, up to 1,000 boats, and 8,000 competitors ranging from Olympic and world-class professionals to weekend sailors, it is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. Having started in 1826, the event is held in August each year on the Solent (the area of water between southern England and the Isle of Wight made tricky by strong double tides).

The festival originates from the Prince Regent's interest in yachting which continued after he became George IV in 1820. The first race started at 09:30 on Thursday 10 August 1826 with the prize of a "Gold Cup of the value of £100" and was held under the flag of the Royal Yacht Club, which later became the Royal Yacht Squadron. Another race was held the next day for prize money only (£30 for first place, £20 for second).


This nautical tartan, by Carol A. L. Martin, recalls the designer's sailboat.

 For a list of English idioms and sayings  that have their origins in sailing, click the sail boats!

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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