OFFSHORE sailing's most exciting new competition — the Pro Sailing Tour — is coming to Cowes next month.

Cowes has been chosen to host part of the Pro Sailing Tour for the first time, which is sure to draw in the spectators as Ocean 50 foiling trimarans put on a show of high-speed racing on The Solent over the weekend of July 5-6.

For those who know their Pro Sailing Tour stars, Great Britain’s Sam Goodchild will be there as defending champion.

Renowned for its intensity, boat-on-boat battles and a very high level of racing, the Pro Sailing Tour brings together eight top Ocean 50 skippers, racing foiling trimarans as long as they are wide — and as agile as they are spectacular, reaching speeds of up to 42 knots.

Goodchild, on board Leyton, is having his title defence hotly-contested by his French rivals during the two-month competition, which started last month in Corsica.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Pro Sail Tour off Corsica.The Pro Sail Tour off Corsica.

The Tour will visit Brest and the Bay of Saint Brieuc in France before it moves to Cowes next month for the finish of the third edition on July 5, which also marks the start of the Cowes leg to Roscoff in France on July 6, the fourth edition.

Pro Sailing Tour organisers met with Cowes stopover representatives from the Royal London Yacht Club (RLYC) and the Cowes Harbour Commission on Monday to finalise plans ahead of the arrival of the fleet.

RLYC commodore, Martin Thomas, gave Pro Sailing Tour CEO, Julien Mauriat, and members of the Pro Sailing Tour organising team, a tour of the RLYC during the visit — showcasing the club that will host the multinational fleet during its stay in Cowes. 

“For nearly 200 years, Cowes has been the centre of British yachting, and is ready to receive this prestigious event," he said. 

"The Royal London Yacht Club, established in 1838, is delighted to host the Ocean 50 sailors in The Solent."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Gary Hall, chief executive of Cowes Harbour Commission, added his welcome to the pioneering event.

He said: “We are delighted to welcome the Pro Sailing Tour to Cowes this July. The event will bring high-speed multihull racing into the heart of The Solent, delivering the thrilling spectacle of Ocean 50 trimarans accelerating in our home waters.

"Cowes is known as ‘the home of yacht racing’, and hosting the Pro Sailing Tour combines our heritage with cutting edge technology.

"It will be a fantastic experience for spectators — ashore and afloat — and a highlight of this summer.” 

The start of the final offshore leg back to Roscoff (France) on Wednesday, July 6, will take in some of The Solent’s most famous landmarks, such as Osborne House, Norris Castle and the Needles.

These will feature prominently in the Pro Sailing Tour TV docu-series, distributed by Sunset+Vine, that will broadcast ahead of the third edition of the race.

During the two-day pitstop in Cowes, the 50 male and female professional sailors will give aspiring young racers from UKSA in Cowes, and sailing charity, the Scaramouche Trust, a glimpse into the world of high-end offshore competition at the team presentation, ahead of the start of the fourth edition.

“To bring the Pro Sailing Tour to Cowes, home of yacht racing, is an honour and a pleasure. The welcome here has been superb, and we are full of anticipation for some exciting racing on The Solent and some wonderful moments ashore,” said Mauriat, following his visit to Cowes on Monday.

The Pro Sailing Tour for the Ocean 50 trimarans were launched last year — the culmination of a determined development process by the teams and stakeholders that began in 2015 when the Class was professionalised.

It continued in 2017 with the addition of foils. Today, the Tour is going from strength to strength with the objective of making the Pro Sailing Tour a lasting part of the French and international ocean racing landscape.

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