There’s no doubt about it, one of the very best ways to enjoy a yachting regatta is from the deck of a yacht charter. After all, yacht charters enable you not just to get right up close to the action but, in many cases, to be an active part of the on water events. The unique freedom of a well-run yacht charter also enables you to step in and out of the main event as you wish. You can head off in pursuit of a secluded anchorage, away from the sailing throng or you can step ashore, directly into its epicentre and immerse yourself in the carnival atmosphere. There are of course thousands of regattas to choose from, encompassing all kinds of sizes, durations, entertainments and destinations – but if you want something that will enhance your charter yacht experience, the following four regattas should be at the very top of your list.
- Cowes Week: 30 July – 05 August 2022
If you’ve never found yourself on the historic waters of the Solent, among the colour and carnage of Cowes Week, a charter experience is a great way to put that right. Established in 1826 and attended by more than 100,000 spectators, Cowes Week is the largest regatta of its kind anywhere in the world. It features up to 40 races per day for around a thousand boats and, in charming contrast to most events, it enables recreational sailors and casual visitors to rub shoulders with elite professionals and Olympic athletes. Held in the first week of August, the shoreside entertainments are just as infectious as the on-water action. Expect a festival vibe with live music and entertainers, plus face painting, DJ sets, alfresco picnics, food festivals and pubs rammed with irrepressible maritime vim. Formal venues include the ‘Regatta Village’ at Cowes Parade, as well as Cowes Yacht Haven, Shepards Marina, Northwood House and Cowes High Street, but such is the scale of the event that there is fun to be had everywhere you look.
- Les Voiles de St Tropez, 23 Sep – 03 Oct 2022
Yacht charters in St Tropez are always rewarding – but if you can arrange to park your charter yacht among the elegant mayhem of the world-famous Voiles de St Tropez, the prestige factor ramps up even further. Founded in 1981, Les Voiles de St Tropez brings together a lovely blend of cutting edge 100-foot-plus luxury superyachts, rare classic wooden sailing yachts and high-performance race craft, not least in the form of former America’s Cup sailboats. You can also expect a wonderfully mixed crowd of visitors from all over the world, including elite racers and relative novices, as well as locals, tourists and charter guests, all keen to soak in the glamour of this iconic event. The first week is set aside for yachts under 24m and the second week is all about authentic superyachts of 24m and more. The action comprises both inshore and offshore racing but now, as ever, part of the appeal is the simple pleasure to be had in fresh seafood and fine wine by the waterfront. And if you want a really special foodie treat, try La Vague d’Or at the Hotel Cheval Blanc – home to Arnaud Donckele, the youngest chef ever to attain three Michelin stars.
- Kiel Week, 18-26 June 2022
Describing itself as “the largest summer festival in Northern Europe and the largest sailing event in the world”, Kiel Week encompasses around 2,000 events over nine days, attracting millions of visitors to the city. Held in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig Holstein in the blissful cruising grounds of northern Germany, the on-water action on the Kiel Fjord off Kiel-Schilksee involves 2,000 boats and 5,000 sailors from more than 60 countries around the world. Naturally then, the atmosphere is as lively as it is cosmopolitan – and for the yacht charter guest, that means access to a whole range of city-wide attractions from free music festivals on public stages to dramatic waterfront fireworks displays.
While it’s not generally possible to see the larger boats racing from the shore, Kiel Week also happens to play host to one of the largest tall ship gatherings in Germany. A great many of them spend the week operating day tours out of Kiel, so it’s easy to get a great view of the action. They also carry out a superb Tall Ships Parade on the penultimate day of the Regatta, with more than 100 traditional ships and hundreds of additional yachts. Encompassing two weekends, what began as a racing championship has long since become a major international festival and that makes it a wonderful event for a well-timed yacht charter.
- Barths Bucket Regatta, 17-20 March 2022
The Caribbean is a great place to experience the yachting lifestyle – and while many of its regattas are invitation-only events for wealthy superyacht owners, that in no way diminishes the racing spectacle or the shoreside fun. If you want a joyous spring charter, you can head for the Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival in the British Virgin Islands. Held from 28 March to 03 April 2022, it combines more than 150 yachts with an enviable party scene. Thanks to its amazing resorts, its extraordinary Georgian harbour and its elegant capital, Antigua also puts on a great show in the form of The Superyacht Challenge in March and the Classic Yacht Regatta at the start of April. But St Barths, spiritual home of the Caribbean superyacht and hotbed of illustrious designer boutiques, is perhaps the greatest Caribbean destination of all for a memorable regatta. The famous Barths Bucket Regatta is particularly good fun because it is timed to coincide with the St Barths Music Festival. This means that, in addition to the sailing entertainment, you get plenty of rum-soaked parties, as well as more refined recreational events involving ballet, opera, jazz, literature, film and sculpture.
Put your trust in Princess Yacht Charter
Whether you want to combine your yacht charter with one of the above regattas or not, it pays to use a well-established company like Princess Yacht Charter. In addition to an extensive network of bases, we oversee a varied international fleet of charter yachts from 60 to nearly 300 feet, at prices ranging from €16,000 to €875,000 per week. We have access to destinations from the Mediterranean and northern Europe to the Bahamas, the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific – and we have first-hand in-house experience of every one of the world’s premier charter yachts and cruising grounds. If you want the reassurance of MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) affiliation, as well as 24-hour backup both before and during your charter, it makes sense to put your faith in Princess Yacht Charter.