Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 16:45 UK

Cowes Week hopeful of new backing

The fireworks at Cowes
Fireworks mark the end of Cowes Week every year

The organisers of the Cowes Week sailing regatta have said they are hopeful of finding a new sponsor after its 14-year deal with Skandia ended.

The event, which draws crowds of about 100,000 to the Solent and Isle of Wight, closed on Friday night with a large fireworks display.

But a successor for next year has not been found despite an 18-month search.

Organisers said they were confident about the event's future but the financial climate had caused delays.

Thousands of people, from Olympians to amateurs, sail in the annual event.

Stuart Quarrie, chief executive of Cowes Week Ltd, said there was no danger to the immediate future of the regatta.

The Red Arrows at Cowes
The sailing regatta came to a close on Friday evening

He said: "I think there's possibly an element of the credit crunch making decisions later than they might have been in easier times.

"We've developed our marketing strategy for the event in the last 18 months, and we're having really good conversations, and we're confident we'll have a new partner next year.

"We have enough funds to run in the short term. Cowes Week has been going for 183 years, and it's going to be going for another 183 years, getting better each year."

Financial services firm Skandia, a FTSE 100 company based in Southampton, announced it was withdrawing its multi-million pound deal with the regatta in March 2007.


A look at how the sailing regatta has changed Cowes over the years

Choppy economy rocks yachting set
08 Aug 08 |  Business
Skandia pulls out of Cowes Week
21 Mar 07 |  Hampshire

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