FIRST they dropped the fireworks – and now struggling Cowes Week has been dumped as the UK venue for the Extreme sailing Series.

The series, which features some of the world’s best sailors racing high-tech 40ft catamarans just metres from the shore, had been a mainstay of the event for the past five years.

But unlike other events on the tour, Cowes Week did not pay a staging fee to OC Thirdpole, the Cowes-based events company that runs it, and once open to tender it was Cardiff who came away with the 2012 event.

Cowes Week Limited, organisers of Cowes Week, say they still hope to involve the Extreme Sailing Series in this year’s regatta.

“It is our intention to continue to work closely with the team to ensure a presence for these exciting boats at our event in some way next year still, with potential for some demo racing close to shore after the rest of the regatta fleets have finished racing for the day,” said Michelle Warner, Cowes Week sales and marketing director.

For full story and more sailing news, don't miss Sail Solent in today's Daily Echo.