Organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet. Etchells teams from yacht clubs from around the World have been invited to Cowes, to compete for the Royal Thames Yacht Club's Gertrude Cup. The invitational event for the Etchells Class has attracted teams representing yacht clubs from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Malta, Nigeria, and the United States of America. The invitational regatta features five days of exciting racing, and a vibrant social programme. The regatta has great emphasis on introducing young talented sailors into the Cowes Etchells Fleet.
A fleet of equally matched Etchells is provided, each crew may sail a different hull each day to ensure fairness. Fully rigged, with new matching sails and prepared, ready to race, by the Cowes Etchells Fleet. The helm must be a member of the invited club, but there are no other crew restrictions other than a weight limit. The intention is to run thirteen races with up to four races per day.
As an invitational regatta, the organisers of The Gertrude Cup, encourage young talented youth sailors to experience the Etchells Class. The Royal Thames Yacht Club Youth Academy, skippered by Tim Gratton, won The Gertrude Cup last year and will be defending the trophy. Ted Blowers, son of current Etchells World Champion Paul Blowers, will skipper a team from the Gurnard Sailing Club. Conor Needham will skipper a USA Youth Team, and the Greig City Academy will field a young team from the school in North London.
The Gertrude Cup has a full social programme, including a Welcome Party hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club, Drinks with Zhik at their famous Cowes store, and a Daily Prize Giving & Afternoon Tea at Cowes Yacht Haven. A Gala Dinner will be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron Pavilion.