Ten yachts attended the inaugural BCYC regatta held in Cowes, July 2002, marking the start of an annual regatta which has continued to grow in size and popularity. What started as a long weekend of informal racing has now grown to a week-long regatta of rallying and racing split into many classes. The very welcome sponsorship by Panerai has enabled the Regatta to provide an enhanced level of racing and shore based hospitality. The added benefit of the Panerai Lounge and Regatta Village now provides an elegant backdrop for the Marina filled with so many beautiful yachts.
By 2012, over 80 Yachts, racing in five divisions, were joined by a growing fleet of cruisers. Many familiar faces returned for a week of close racing, or fun cruising. In the marina, and ashore, participants had the chance to socialise and enjoy the ambiance and hospitality of the Panerai Lounge.
Aside from the stunning spectacle of gorgeous classic yachts racing in the changeable waters of the Solent, the regatta is known for many things – the varying and fun social calendar, the friendly camaraderie on and off the water and the quality and variety of racing.
The racing is held in the changeable tidal waters of the Solent with the highlight of the week being the Classic Around the Island Race. With racing now being organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, photo opportunity after photo opportunity is presented as the fleet starts on the Royal Yacht Squadron line.
The BCYC strives to make each event as individual as possible, tweaking the format each year to retain the successful features of the week and develop others. The fact that many of the yachts continue to come back year after year is testament to the success of this evolving formula. This regatta is now the key classic yacht event of the UK yachting calendar.