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Race to save fun ashore at Cowes Week regatta
Cowes Week organisers were last night trying to rescue the regatta’s shoreside entertainment after the firm that was due to run it went into administration.
Mainsail, the company behind the Cowes Week Village Parade, yesterday closed down a festival at Olympic sailing in Weymouth due to “dire” visitor numbers and said it had “elected to voluntarily liquidate the business ”.
Cowes-based Mainsail has run the parade village, which hosts bars, music, food and entertainment outside the marina, for the past three years.
Isle of Wight Council and Cowes Week Ltd said they were “disappointed” to hear Mainsail had gone into administration and were hopeful an agreement could be reached over the weekend to ensure the parade goes ahead.
Cowes Week chief executive Stuart Quarrie said he was confident it would.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, from August 11 to 18, is the world’s premier sailing regatta, with almost 1,000 yachts and 8,500 competitors taking part in top-class sailing.
More than 100,000 visitors are attracted to Cowes by the festival atmosphere.
The Isle of Wight Council was already looking for a company to take over the running of the Cowes Week Parade Village from next year in three-year deal.
Cowes Week Limited and the Isle of Wight Council last night said in a statement that Mainsail had made a “valuable contribution to the regatta over many years”.
It added: “The Isle of Wight Council is already in advanced negotiations with another company that has much experience in, and knowledge of, the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Parade Village with regard to providing the Parade entertainment and leisure facilities including the Sail for Gold Bar.
“It is hoped an agreement will be reached over the next 48 hours that will ensure the Parade remains an integral part of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week spectator and entertainment experience.”