Cowes Regatta, Isle of Wight - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
The festival originates from the Prince Regent's interest in yachting which continued after he became George IV in 1820.
The first race started at 09:30 on Thursday 10 August 1826 with the prize of a "Gold Cup of the value of £100" and was held under the flag of the Royal Yacht Club, which later became the Royal Yacht Squadron. Another race was held the next day for prize money only (£30 for first place, £20 for second).
Until World War I, big cutters and raters were raced by gentlemen amateurs employing skippers and crew. In the 1920s and 1930s, there were cruiser handicap classes and local one-designs.
Following World War II, when there was a revival of big yacht racing, ocean racing classes started to predominate, especially after the first Admiral's Cup event was held in 1957.