In case you were wondering what it's all about, here's our rundown of what to expect from the event...
The No.1 Property & Construction Industry Event
The Little Britain Challenge Cup is the property and construction industry's annual sailing regatta. The regatta attracts over 60 companies and over 850 crew and for many it remains one of the best and most enjoyable networking events in our industry. It is a fantastic event for project teams celebrating success, for team building and relationship building, and for client entertaining. It's also a great time to learn to sail with other industry professionals and to improve your boat and racing skills.
It is a two-day regatta and is now based at Shepards Wharf Marina, West Cowes. Little Britain is always organised in early September and this year, the regatta celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The event is overseen by a volunteer committee who all work in the industry. They meet each month in London to plan and progress the regatta and are dedicated to promoting sailing within the industry. They are always looking for new and keen committee members..
Exhilarating sailing & team building
Many companies charter yachts and some bring their own yachts. The average boat length at the regatta is about 40ft. All racing takes place in the Solent around the 'cans' (the Solent buoys and marks) and there are 5 races over two days - two on Friday and three on Saturday. In general, you are racing from 9am to 4pm and lunch is taken on board. There's a race briefing in the Clubhouse each morning at about 8am, then it's out 'on the water' for boat prep, a bit of practice and then some competitive racing.
There are two main classes: Racing with spinnaker and Cruising without spinnaker. About 70% join the racing class and 30% are in cruising class. Depending on the handicap or the performance of your boat, you are put into smaller classes so that you race with similar performing yachts. One-design classes are organised, such as the Sunsail F40s, if there are enough boats of identical design entering.
You score from 4 of the 5 races in your class will determine your class position. The Little Britain Challenge Cup winner is class winner with the best overall score.
For the novice crews or less experienced sailors, a 'passage race' will be organised for the cruising classes with a more 'gentlemanly' race to the local yacht club for Friday lunch. Cruising classes will also race around the 'cans' on Saturday.
At the end of racing each day, everyone will meet up on the pontoons or in the marina bar at Shepards Wharf's Clubhouse - the Sugar Store.
By popular demand, we have simplified the on-shore programme and made it more informal. Good food and drink will be served from the marina clubhouse. Some crews go into town to the pubs or restaurants but everyone returns later for drinks to meet up and finish the day with some light entertainment. There's always a fantastic atmosphere with plenty of opportunities to catch up with industry friends.
Those who are sensible and want to enjoy sailing the next day, they get plenty of sleep and are ready for an early start. Many crews sleep on their boats and can use the marina's new washroom facilities. Many stay at local B&Bs, hotels or rent out 'crew' houses nearby.
On Saturday evening, all guests are invited to celebrate our Little Britain 30th anniversary big party bash. Food and drink will be served and it will be a great celebration with a fabulous feast. More details to follow.
Supporting some very deserving causes
The regatta raises thousands of pounds for sailing charities doing great work, such as the 1851 Trust - the charity of Landrover BAR - Ben Ainslie Racing's America's Cup team, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the Cirdan Sailing Trust and the Jubilee Sailing Trust, plus a host of smaller island sailing charities. Surplus profits and donations are shared between the charities and over the past 30 years the Little Britain Challenge Cup has raised over £1.25 million.
For more information on the different Charities we support visit our Charities Page.
If you would like to be kept informed of plans for the 2017 regatta please complete the Mailing List Form.