Entries for the world's longest running regatta — Cowes Week — are now open for this summer's extravaganza. 

At 197 years, Cowes Week — which gets underway on July 29 — is set to welcome more than 500 boats, racing in 37 different classes.

In the iconic regatta, two of the most competitive classes are worlds apart.

The organisers are expecting more than 30 of the Mark Mills designed Cape 31, a lightweight flyer with an enormous spinnaker, whilst the XOD class will compete for their Captain's Cup — the most prestigious in its annual calendar — with 50 boats, all of which have smaller spinnakers, but with very dedicated and highly competitive crews.

Regatta director, Laurence Mead, said: "We are a little later opening entries this year than previous years, but we still have our Super Early Bird discount, as we seek to keep the regatta as affordable as possible. 

"We've invested further over the winter on our course-setting software as we remain focused on delivering world-class regatta racing.  

"Whichever class, our course setters work hard to deliver quality racing from club cruisers right up to IRC Class One."

Bob, Trimble, the chairman of Cowes Combined Clubs, said: "It takes a lot of volunteers to make Cowes Week happen every year, but the nine constituent clubs that make up Cowes Combined Clubs pool their resources, into what remains a bucket list regatta for people throughout the world. 

"Cowes Week will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2026 and we are already working on plans for this landmark event, but with the issue of the Notice of Race, all eyes are on this year."

The event will culminate with the overall prizegiving ceremony on Friday, August 4.