Warsash Spring Series: 18 March - 29 April
The Warsash Spring Series is the Solent's premier early season event for keelboats. Six Sundays are earmarked for the main Series, with starts in the central Solent. The Warsash Spring Championship has races on 21-22 and 28-29 April. www.warsashspringseries.org.uk
International Etchells: March - September
The Etchells is a fast, sleek, stable racing sloop. Predominantly owner-driven by enthusiastic and loyal supporters of the class association, the fleet has strict one-design credentials and is a highly competitive class. The racing season for the Cowes Etchells fleet gets underway on 31 March with the start of the Spring Series. The Southern Area Championship will be held on 14-15 July, the UK Nationals on 14-16 September, with both these events being qualifiers for the 2013 Worlds. www.etchellsukfleet.co.uk
Solo Offshore Racing Club: March - October
The Solo Offshore Racing Club (SORC) races are intended to encourage single-handed sailing and the development of suitable yachts, gear, supplies, and techniques for shorthanded sailing. SORC runs the Solent Solo Series, plus an Offshore Series, Fecamp Series, and Channel Week in August. www.offshoresolo.com
RSYC Double Handed Racing: 24 March - 29 September
If you've not raced double handed, come and see what you've been missing! There's a great atmosphere both on and off the water. In the Corona Extra Double Handed Series there are race trophies and three Series trophies to compete for; the Inshore, Offshore, and Main Series. www.rsyc.org.uk
JOG Championship: 31 March - 6 October
The Junior Offshore Group (JOG) was established in 1950 to allow smaller yachts to compete offshore; it organises highly competitive races for IRC rated yachts. JOG runs a full programme every season grouped into an Inshore and Offshore Series. Competitors enjoy a high standard of racing and a similarly high level of camaraderie at the parties which take place at the end of almost every race in a host port. Most JOG races start in the Solent from the club's fixed line and distinctive permanent starting box just east of Egypt Point, Cowes. www.jog.org.uk
Royal Ocean Racing Club: April - August
The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) was established in 1925 following the finish of the first Fastnet Race as the Ocean Racing Club. The founding members were adamant that the club's goals should be, 'to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation in which speed and seaworthiness are combined', something which it has done with alacrity ever since. The racing season in Cowes gets underway with RORC's Easter Challenge on 6-8 April bringing racers and cruiser-racers to Cowes for this popular training regatta. www.rorc.org
Island Sailing Club evening racing: 17 April - 11 September
The Island Sailing Club's ever popular Evening Race Series provides Tuesday evening races (with the exception of 5 June, 3 July, and Cowes Week) through to 11 September when the traditional Bang & Go Back Race marks the end of the Tuesday evening season. www.islandsc.org.uk
Daring Class: April - October
The Daring was designed as a One Design by Arthur Robb based on his successful 5.5 metre yacht Vision, the silver medal winner in the 1956 Olympics. The classic design has proved popular and enduring, offering great value for money for this type of One Design racing. Darings race in the Solent off Cowes every weekend from the middle of April to the middle of October. www.daring.org.uk
Cowes Keelboat Solent Series: 21 April - 14 October
The Cowes Keelboat Solent Series comprises a season-long series of races from shore line starts organised by the Cowes Clubs & Classes Association. Races, which utilise the Cowes clubs' start lines off The Parade, are run over round-the-cans courses around the central Solent. Notice of Race will be available soon on www.SolentHandbook.com.
Dragon Class Solent Division: April - October
The Dragon was originally designed in 1929 by Johan Anker in Norway as a small cruiser-racer. Its potential was quickly spotted and soon after it came first to the Clyde in the UK and then to Cowes. There has been an active fleet established in Cowes ever since. In addition to competing in the Cowes Keelboat Solent Series and the Cowes Keelboat Championship, the Solent Dragon fleet will host the Dragon South Coast Championship on 5-7 May, while the Royal Yacht Squadron will run the Dragon Jubilee Trophy on 2-4 June. www.solent-dragons.org
X One Design Class: April to October
The X Class has six active fleets around the Solent area, at Cowes, Hamble, Itchenor, Lymington, Parkstone, and Yarmouth. XODs attract many experienced helms and crew and the standard of sailing at the front of the fleets is very high. The XOD fleet is traditionally one of the largest in Cowes Week with over half of the entire fleet, in excess of 70 boats, taking part each year. www.xonedesign.org.uk
The Powerboat and RIB Show: 11-13 May
RIBEX has been renamed The Powerboat and RIB Show and will be held at Portsmouth venue, Gunwharf Quays, for the first time in May. The exhibition will now feature powerboats of every description, making it the only show representing the entire powerboat market under 45ft. This free-to-visit event is expected to attract more than 80,000 people. www.powerboatandribshow.com
Vice Admiral's Cup: 18-20 May
The eighth edition of this hugely popular regatta looks set to break all previous records with more than 60 entries anticipated. The event will feature classes for 44-46' series production boats, J/111s, J/109s, Quarter Tonners, and Laser SB3s. In addition, it will provide the inshore element for the 2012 GBR Team trials for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. www.rcyc.co.uk
IRC Solent Series Championship: 12 May - 23 September
Spanning the full length of the Solent from the Nab Tower race in the east to the Royal Solent Regatta off Yarmouth, this series aims to encourage larger fleets of IRC-rated yachts in a wide range of competitive racing. Post-race hospitality at each host club provides the opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of each, and socialise with fellow competitors. Boats can enter any combination of individual events of the whole series. www.solentirc.org.uk
Cowes Keelboat Championship: 12 May - 23 September
The Cowes Keelboat Championship is held over six weekends from May to September. The weekend events are hosted in turn by each of the Cowes clubs. Racing is available for Etchells, Darings, Dragons, XODs, Flying 15s, and 6 Metres on windward-leeward courses in the central Solent. There are two races each day, with committee boat starts. Further information from the Class Associations. Notice of Race will be available soon on www.SolentHandbook.com.
Royal Southern Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta: 25 May - 10 June
Taking centre stage in this summer's line-up of events hosted and run by the Royal Southern is the Club's 175th Anniversary Open Regatta, a yacht racing festival comprising 16 days of activity ashore and afloat, encompassing all classes of day boats, keelboats and ocean racing boats and even some spectator-friendly model boat racing. To date, the Royal Southern is anticipating that 33 classes and over 500 sailors will participate in what will be the largest gathering of competitive yacht racing ever run under its burgee. The 175th Anniversary Regatta programme also includes the Southern's May and June Summer regattas, and the 50th running of the Cowes-Deauville Race (1-2 June). www.royal-southern.co.uk/175
Latest news: The Brewin Dolphin British Open Metre Regatta is being organised by the Royal Southern from 27-29 June. There will be Solent fleet racing for upwards of 20 boats across the 12m, 8m, and 6m classes.
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Regatta: 2-4 June
A special one-off sailing regatta is being organised by a number of Isle of Wight clubs in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June. The Regatta will incorporate racing for IRC and ISCRS rated boats, including the Sail the Wight Race on 2 June, as well as providing keelboat racing from the RYS platform, dinghy racing from Gurnard Sailing Club, and invitational match racing and team racing. Organisers are working together to create a programme which will combine terrific competition afloat with a host of onshore parties and fun for everyone involved. www.qdjregatta.co.uk
Cowes Fest - Boat & Leisure Festival: 4-5 June
The Boat & Leisure Festival will be held at Cowes Yacht Haven. The Festival is designed to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and attractions will include a display of some of the finest British built yachts and motor boats, an exclusive preview of teams racing in the 2013 Cowes - Monte Carlo Powerboat Race, live music, and a great range of outdoor leisure activities. Download your free pass from the Festival website: www.cowesfest.com.
The Westward Cup: 11-16 June
Run as an invitational race in association with the New York Yacht Club and the Yacht Club de Monaco with the Royal Yacht Squadron as the organising authority, the Westward Cup was first held in 2010 and was a tremendous success. It marked the revival of and interest in Big Class yacht racing in the Solent and around the world.
Currently, four of the world's most beautiful classic yachts have so far confirmed their entry. Racing will make maximum use of the waters around the Isle of Wight to ensure the captains and crews enjoy challenging and competitive racing that only these waters can deliver. It is also the intention to include a race around the Island, subject to weather conditions. www.rys.org.uk
IRC National Championship: 15-17 June
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's annual IRC Championship has a schedule of eight Solent races over the three day regatta. www.rorc.org
Coutts Quarter Ton Cup: 25-27 June
The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup is open to Quarter Tonners of all generations. Racing takes place under IRC in the central Solent over three days. www.rcyc.co.uk
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race: 30 June
The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight. The race regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.
Competitors come from all over the UK, other parts of Europe and as far away as the USA to follow the 50 nautical mile course round the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the fleet races westabout, to The Needles, round St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.
The race is a great opportunity to watch world-renowned sailors racing against families and first time racers. For those not competing, the Island and the south coast have many great vantage points to watch the race, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hurst Castle, and The Needles.
If you're thinking of racing for charity and fundraising, why not set up an online fundraising page on the official Race JustGiving page? Doing so makes it simple for your friends, family and supporters to sponsor your crew. www.justgiving.com/roundtheisland
Following the success of last year's Charity Challenge, Race title sponsor, J.P. Morgan Asset Management will again be running the initiative in 2012. There are two £1,000 charitable donations up for grabs and it's hoped this will encourage many new charity fundraisers. www.roundtheisland.org.uk
Panerai British Classic Week: 7-14 July
As one of the highlight events during an exceptional summer of sailing regattas in the UK, the Panerai British Classic Week, organised by the British Classic Yacht Club, commences two weeks before the beginning of the London Olympics. More than 70 of the world's most iconic classic and vintage yachts are expected to compete, once again providing a magnificent spectacle of classic yacht racing in the exciting waters of the Solent.
There will be a five-race series, plus a race around the Isle of Wight following the original clockwise course of the first America's Cup. Racing will be demanding and competitive but will still retain that Corinthian spirit synonymous with classic boat racing. www.britishclassicyachtclub.org/regatta
Oyster Olympic Regatta: 10-14 July
The Oyster fleet comes back to Cowes for five days of racing and social events. Berthing has been secured for a large Oyster fleet at Cowes Yacht Haven and, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, organisers are planning an Oyster event with an Olympic flavour! www.oystermarine.com
J Class Solent Regatta: 18-21 July
The J Class Solent Regatta will be hosted by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, and with the possibility of six, or even eight J Class yachts racing, this is expected to be an outstanding and spectacular regatta, both for competitors and spectators.
Three races are planned for the Solent Regatta, one starting in the western Solent and around Christchurch Bay. One starting in the eastern Solent and into Hayling Bay, and a third in the central Solent. On 21 July, the fleet will assemble in the central Solent for the start of the Hundred Guinea Cup around the Isle of Wight over the original 1851 east-about course, without a time limit and including the Nab Tower. The race will start and finish on the Royal Yacht Squadron line. www.jclasssolentregatta.com
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup: 21-28 July
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, is one of the most prestigious events on the international yachting calendar. Culminating in a tough mix of inshore and offshore racing across a tense seven-day racing programme on the testing waters of the Solent, national teams with three boats each, will compete for the Commodores' Cup. commodorescup.rorc.org
Clipper 11-12 Race finish: 22 July
The Clipper 11-12 Race will make its triumphant return to Southampton, Ocean Village on 22 July. The fleet's arrival home marks the end of an epic challenge racing more than 40,000 miles, and visiting 14 ports on six continents. Around 500 people from all walks of life will have participated, completing a full circumnavigation, or one or more of the eight legs the race is split into.
Ocean Village will be transformed into a world class race village, with staged events and entertainment. Everyone is welcome and local boat owners will be invited to join the flotilla escorting the yachts home. www.clipperroundtheworld.com
The Superyacht Cup Cowes 2012: 22-25 July
Organised in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron, The Superyacht Cup Cowes 2012 is being held in the UK in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics. The Superyacht Cup Cowes will offer owners and guests a unique experience of sailing in the waters of the Solent and around the Isle of Wight. At the time of going to press, this exciting event had attracted an impressive 21 provisional entries including Hetairos, the brand new 67m ketch superyacht. Hetairos will be berthed in Cowes and The Superyacht Cup Cowes will be one of the first regattas she competes at in 2012. www.thesuperyachtcup.com/cowes
The Metre & Classic Keelboat Regatta: 23-27 July
Cowes Classics Week, incorporating The Metre & Classic Keelboat Regatta, is run by the Royal London Yacht Club, and offers fleet racing for classic and modern 6mR, 8mR, and 12mR yachts. Entries are also expected from 5mR, 5.5mR, and 10mR yachts. In addition, there will be racing for classic keelboat classes and a Classic Revival handicap fleet. Racing will be on a mix of laid and round-the-cans courses. www.cowesclassicsweek.org
Cowes Dinghy Week: 30 July - 3 August
The annual Magic Marine Cowes Dinghy Week regatta is hosted by Gurnard Sailing Club in the waters of the western Solent. Dinghy Week is a friendly but fiercely contested regatta, attracting around 150 entries from sailors of all ages, in a range of classes, with social events most evenings. There will be class racing for classes with eight or more entries, a catamaran handicap class, and three monohull handicap classes. www.gurnardsc.org.uk
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week: 11-18 August
Since 1826 Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK's longest running and most successful sporting events. The eight day regatta now stages up to 40 daily races for around 1,000 boats and is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, as the event is now known, offers a great mix of competitive sailing and social activities. The 8,500 competitors range from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors. In excess of 100,000 spectators come to watch the sailing, enjoy the parties and live entertainment, and to experience the unique atmosphere.
Please note that the 2012 dates are later then usual in order to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games; a number of special Olympic celebratory activities are planned during the regatta. Don't miss out on this iconic British summer event. www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
Chichester Harbour Federation Regatta: 20-24 August
Chichester Harbour Fed Week, one of the most popular dinghy regatta weeks in the Solent, attracts in excess of 300 entries each year and takes place under the burgee of Hayling Island Sailing Club. www.chifed.org
Cowes Classic 2012: 24-27 August
Cowes Classic 2012 is organised by the British Powerboat Racing Club and features the historic Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, the longest running offshore powerboat race in the world, as well as the RYA National Marathon Championship, UIM Marathon World Cup, the Cowes-Poole-Cowes race, and RYA National P1 Superstock Championship. The varied fleet of boats will be on show in Cowes Yacht Haven and the weekend promises drama, spectacular high-speed action and glamour, all with an international flavour. www.cowes2012.co.uk
Little Britain Challenge Cup: 6-9 September
The Little Britain Challenge Cup is the premier construction and property industry event. First started in 1988, 2012 sees the regatta celebrating its 25th anniversary. Taking place in Cowes, with racing run by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the action-packed three day regatta attracts a large cross section of organisations and individuals who are involved in the building world. www.littlebritain.co.uk
PSP Southampton Boat Show: 14-23 September
The PSP Southampton Boat Show is the UK's leading on water, outdoor celebration of the boating calendar and a much anticipated event providing a fun-filled day out for boaters, trade, and the whole family. www.southamptonboatshow.com
Biscay 2012: 16-29 September
Inaugurated by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in celebration of its 175th Anniversary, the Biscay 2012 is a new open sailing race for monohull vessels. A single race, run in three successive legs, with points accrued towards an overall classification, it covers approximately 950 nautical miles, starting and finishing in the Solent and visiting the French ports of La Rochelle and Brest. The Race looks set to be a truly international event with expressions of interest already received from some 20 entries. www.biscay2012.co.uk
Garmin Hamble Winter Series: 14 October - 2 December
The Garmin Hamble Winter Series is all about top class racing and is known as one of the most competitive series in the Solent, but host Hamble River Sailing Club also works hard at the après-sail. www.hambleriversc.org.uk