Cowes Week is a British sporting institution.
It is one of the longest running and most successful
sporting events we have and has become a
highlight of the British sporting summer. It has
been held in early August every year since 1826,
except during the two world wars.
Cowes Week is a unique mixture of classic and
ultra-modern designs with several classes still racing
after more than 50 years: Dragons, Flying Fifteens,
Redwings, Seaview Mermaids, Solent Sunbeams,
Swallows,Victories and XODs. New classes are
being introduced as they increase in popularity.
The Laser SB3s for example, have been the largest
class of the regatta for the past few years.
Cowes Week attracts over 8,500 competitors,
ranging from Olympic and world-class yachtsmen
and women to weekend sailors Ė all racing together
and watched by over 100,000 visitors to
Cowes. One of the most enduring traditions of
Cowes Week is the spectacular fireworks display,
which has taken place on the final friday of Cowes
Week since the very first years.
The regatta is now such an indelible fixture on
the British (and international) sporting scene that
it is taken for granted that it will continue to thrive
and inspire all who love sailing, competition and
the ocean for years to come. With over 140
striking and immediate images, Dave Willis captures
the excitement, disasters and triumphs of one
of the sporting calendarís ultimate events.
Dave Willis has always been a photographer.
Itís what he does. Heís been other things as
well but always there was a camera. Born
and raised on the south coast, he quit
school, left home and left the south to hitch
to the lakes and become a climber and a
photographer. He learnt the trade as an
assistant photographer in Kendal, a press
photographer on national papers and an
expedition photographer in Patagonia. He
returned from Chile in 1990, penniless,
homeless and unemployed to set up
Mountain Sport Photography Ė and is still
going strong. Dave now works from his base
in Shap, on Cumbriaís eastern edge,
photographing outdoor life, landscape and
tourism projects for tourist boards, the
outdoor industry, press and stock libraries.
He also teaches photography.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 012 1, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published July 2010.