This year’s Little Britain regatta in the Isle of Wight was another roaring success – especially for joint race winners Amey and Languard Investments. And with a Moulin Rouge-themed evening and gala dinner with charity auction, the event certainly wasn’t all about the sailing … Your correspondent was there enjoying the sun, sea and sauvignon

More than 2500 construction industry guests descended on Cowes on the Isle of Wight last week for the 18th Little Britain Challenge Cup sailing regatta.

At the Building-sponsored event, the largest industry sailing festival in Europe, 238 boats competed over two days of racing. The Amey Love Shack and Languard Investments emerged from the main class with joint honours, sharing the Little Britain Challenge Cup trophy.

Bovis’ boat 2XL (left) battles against a rival and finishes third in its class
Bovis’ boat 2XL (left) battles against a rival and finishes third in its class

A lack of wind on Friday meant a racing had to be abandoned, but that did not stop guests enjoying the fine weather while waiting for the Saturday competition. On top of the sailing, guests were treated to three nights of entertainment that ranged from Moulin Rouge-style cancan dancers to a Blues Brothers tribute band. For hardcore guests, the Domus boat played host to nightly parties on the quayside, with wine flowing until well into the wee small hours.

And of course on Saturday night was the traditional gala dinner in the main marquee, where guests swapped fleeces for suits to listen to the results announcements. A game of heads and tails and a charity auction also had guests raise more than £150,000 for charities – the main beneficiaries being the Ellen MacArthur Trust, the Cirdan and Jubilee sailing trusts, the Andrew Cassell Foundation and the John Merricks Sailing Trust.