Cowes, United Kingdom

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COWES, at the Isle of Wight's northern tip, is inextricably associated with sailing craft and boat building: Henry VIII installed a castle here to defend the Solent's expanding naval dockyards from the French and Spanish, and in the 1950s the world's first hovercraft made its test runs here. In 1820 the Prince Regent's patronage of the yacht club gave the port its cachet with the Royal Yacht Squadron, now one of the world's most exclusive sailing clubs. The first week of August sees the international yachting festival known as Cowes Week (Web: www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk ), where serious …
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