As part of the lead up to the Olympics in the UK next year the organisers of the Superyacht Cup Cowes 2012 have issued invitations to participate in this ‘special edition’ of the event.

Organised in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Cup will give owners and guests a unique experience of sailing in the Solent and around the Isle of Wight, using the course made famous by the first America’s Cup in 1851.

The Olympics are expected to draw a number of superyachts to London and the sailing events being held in Weymouth Bay.

“Cowes was the obvious choice as we wanted to celebrate the year of the Olympics being in the UK and Cowes has such a rich history of yacht racing,” event manager, Kate Branagh tells Cowes Online. “Many of the yachts and owners that attend our events will be familiar with the history of Cowes but may not have sailed there before.

“Having this chance to race against similar size yachts and enjoy the social programme surrounding the event is proving very attractive.”

Eighteen yachts have already agreed to participate and there is a lot of interest being shown in the event.

Among the yachts provisionally signed up are 62m (203ft) Athos, 45m (148ft) MiriCha 111, 38m (125ft) Bliss and 24m (79ft) Heartbeat.