There are a multitude of exciting events in the sailing calendar each year, and 2016 promises to be one of the best in a while. What with the Olympic Games set to take place in Rio de Janeiro this summer, along with annual favorites like the Louis Vuitton Trophy and Cowes Week in the U.K., we’re eagerly anticipating the top sailing events of 2016. What follows is our list of this year’s top five events, based on factors like the quality of sailors involved, prize money, media coverage and history of the event.
- Antigua Sailing Week
Known as the largest annual regatta in the Caribbean, Antigua Sailing Week has established itself as one of the premiere events in the sailing calendar over the last couple of decades. It’s an action-packed week of races where fans will get to see some of the fastest and most impressive sailing yachts ever devised, piloted by a motley collection of some of the world’s best Olympic, America’s Cup and round-the-world sailors. Antigua Sailing Week is perhaps best known for the variety of races on offer and its non-stop party atmosphere that makes it an event not to be missed!
The Antigua Sailing Week kicks off in April.
- Cowes Week
Setting sail this August is a tradition that stretches all the way back to 1826. Cowes Week is perhaps the longest running and most successful of all UK water sport events. The week features more than forty races daily with over 1,000 vessels competing and 8,500 professional and amateur sailors all vying for success. With more than 100,000 spectators also set to attend, Cowes Week 2016 will be one of the largest and most spectacular sailing regattas in the world, and a must-see for any sailing enthusiast.
- Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series can be more accurately described as a series of events rather than just one. This racing circuit consistently features some of the world’s most talented sailors piloting extremely rapid foiling, wing sailed catamarans. The series is the first stage of the upcoming 2017 America’s Cup, and actually began last year, giving sailors from all the America’s Cup teams a chance to score some early points that can be carried forward to the main event.
The team’s overall ranking position in this series will be used to determine how many starting points they begin with at the America’s Cup Qualifiers when they take place in 2017, underlining how important sailors take this event. Each competing team gets the opportunity to host an event in their home nation, and so far four events have been scheduled, including one race at Portsmouth, UK, in July and a summer regatta to be held in Chicago this summer.
- Sydney-Hobart Race
Mention the words “Christmas” and “Bass Strait” to any sailing enthusiast and you can be sure their eyes will light up – Sydney-Hobart is without one of the biggest brand names in sailing, right up there with the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup. The event, which is held at the end of December, is known by the media as the “Bluewater Classic”, and it attracts some of the world’s best known sailors clad in high quality MUSTO-branded sailing clothing while encouraging innovation in single-mastered sloop design. Sailing apparel technology has come a long way in recent years as sailors experience the most extreme weather conditions. Not so long ago, sailors wore cotton and wool. Nowadays, there is space-age technology being incorporated into sailing wear like the state-of-the-art MUSTO MXP dry suit.
Over the last 64 years it’s grown to become one of the top three sailing events in the world, attracting maxi yachts from all corners of the globe. The main reason why the Sydney-Hobart Race is so popular is due to its unpredictable weather conditions, what with difficult seas and high winds that make it one of the most grueling of all challenges.
- The Olympic Games
It might only be around once every four years but that helps to ensure the Olympic sailing events are some of the most eagerly anticipated on the sporting calendar. This year’s games will be held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and can be seen as a kind of proving ground for up and coming sailor talents to show off their skills. The Olympics have helped some of sailing’s biggest names earn their breakthroughs in recent years, including Ben Ainslee, Torben Grael and Ian Percy to name a few examples.
This is a sponsored post for MUSTO