Photos by Paul Wyeth and Jonathan Hoare

Welcome to the RS Elite Cowes Fleet

The RS Elite is one of the most recent boats to form a resident fleet in Cowes, although there has been a sporadic presence over many years: there has been a dedicated Class start in Cowes Week since 2004, Elites have successfully completed the Round Island Race every year since 2005, the Class National Championships were hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in 2012, and the Southern Area Championships by the RYS in 2014 (see Race Report), and in 2018 will be organized by the East Wight Combined Clubs (Bembridge and Seaview).


Article in Yachts & Yachting about the Tr-Handled Trophy

The Boat

The RS Elite is a modern, high performance, low maintenance one design keelboat, usually crewed by three people, although it can easily be handled by two.

Text Box: Cowes Radio 24ft overall, with beam of 5ft 8in, draft of 3ft 7in and displacing one ton, the Elite has a fibreglass hull, carbon spars and a symmetrical spinnaker launched from a chute.

Capable of nearly 20 knots downwind in a blow, the Elite is well mannered and easy to sail, not requiring either special skill or great strength to sail safely and enjoyably even in strong winds - many Elites are crewed by women.

More details are available on the RS Sailing website and on the Class Association website


Starting in 2013, there has been regular fleet racing throughout the season under the auspices of the Cowes Clubs and Classes Association.  Starts are typically on Saturdays at 13:15 (WS at 13:10) and on Sundays at 12:15 (WS 12:10), for both the Solent Series (shoreline starts) and the Cowes Keelboat Championship (Committee Boat starts).

As part of the Elite Class national racing circuit, there is a Class start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line during Cowes Week (Saturday to Friday).

The RS Elite has an IRC rating of .934 and so can also be raced on a handicap basis in the various West and East Wight keelboat regattas (Yarmouth, Seaview, Bembridge).

Text Box: Cowes Yachting Magazine

Click here for the 2018 schedule of racing for the Cowes Fleet and this link to the Class website for details of other Elite regattas in the Solent and elsewhere.



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Most RS Elites are dry sailed from the Cowes Yacht Haven, although berthing in Shepards Marina or a main harbour swinging mooring are also available.

New & Second-hand Boats

New boat enquiries should be directed to RS Sailing. Second-hand boats are often available on the market, and have proved very competitive with new boats. The best place to find them is on the Class website.


We would welcome an approach from any prospective purchaser interested in a sea trial with a view to joining the growing Cowes Fleet. For further information please contact: Charles Egerton-Warburton

Interview with Charlie on Website

2018 Cowes fleet report

2017 Cowes fleet report

2017 Cowes training day report

2016/17 Cowes fleet report


Useful links and documents

RYS Website RLYC Website RCYC Website CCC Website ISC Website

AAM Cowes Week Cowes Online


Notice from Rod Hodgson, Deputy Harbour Master, Cowes Harbour Commission

A new Small Craft Channel that has been established through the area of the main harbour moorings connecting the main fairway opposite Town Quay with the eastern approaches. The new channel enables small craft to avoid the main harbour entrance when approaching/departing Cowes from/to the east and also avoid the temptation for vessels to take a short cut through the moorings which has led to damage to boats and buoys in the past. The success of the channel will depend a great deal on getting the information out to the harbour users and adequate education and enforcement by our Harbour Patrol. 

The LNTM's give details of the new small craft channel, changes to the Shrape Breakwater light and the establishment of a new Shrape Mud buoy.

Download Small Craft Channel

Download Change to Shrape Breakwater Light

Download Small Craft Channel Buoy Light

Download Shrape Mud Buoy Established

All LNTM are also available on our website

The Cowes Harbour breakwater Exclusion Zone LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS can be found here:

The Cowes Harbour Commission have issed an advisory on Harbour Tidal flows around the new breakwater construction. Download