ISLE OF WIGHT and ELLEN MacARTHUR
It is hoped the 1/20th development phase of Solar Navigator will be completed shortly, so proving the potential of the design for ocean crossings. The next logical step is to put an intermediate size vessel into the water. The Isle of Wight is a possible venue for testing a 15-20 foot manned development model of Solar Navigator. Readers may remember the first catamaran model of Solar Navigator at Cowes in 2001.
Nelson Kruschandl, visiting the Needles 2004
The Isle of Wight is located on the Southern Coast of England and is separated from the mainland by approximately two miles of the Solent. The main town on the Island is centrally located Newport. Over the last few years, it has attracted a number of leading retailers.
It is considered a Holiday Island and has a number of Tourist Attractions, Hotels and Guest Houses. Osborne House in East Cowes was once the holiday home of Queen Victoria. The Island has recently become known for the Dinosaur discoveries and subsequently dubbed Dinosaur Island.
At the 1997 Academy Awards, the Island received recognition as the home of Anthony Minghella, the Director of the Oscar Winning 'The English Patient', which won 9 Oscars. See News The Island is still noted for the Pop Festivals of the Sixties.
There are few major employers on the Island. Many people rely on the seasonal tourist trade. There are a number of specialist companies and craft-based industries. The population of the Island is approximately 127,000 people, tending towards the older generation, as it is a popular retirement area. Population figures from the 1991 Government Census.
The Island has been occupied since the Old Stone Age and has a number of historic monuments and archaeological sites well worth a visit. The location of the past settlement and burial sites was often determined by the underlying geology so an understanding of the local geology is important.
Round the world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur managed her Vendee Globe sail project from Cowes in 2001, to become the youngest and fastest woman to sail around the world single handed and non-stop. Since then Ellen has based her sports marketing agency: 'Offshore Challenges" in Cowes.
Ellen's enthusiasm for the Island is closely linked to her love of sailing, but she also walks a lot, for which there are some 500 miles of stunning country paths. Ellen put down her roots in Cowes when she bought a house on the High Street. She found many local businesses were willing to help fund her ocean adventures via sponsorship. In return Ellen is committed to promoting exciting regeneration plans for the town and includes the 'Cowes Waterfront' on her sails.
Cowes first made its mark on the world sailing scene in 1815, with the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Every August the internationally recognised 'Cowes Week' is an opportunity for well-heeled tycoons and sports stars to exhibit and race their stunning yachts.
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