This chart features the north of the Isle of Wight where the River Medina meets the sea at Cowes. To the north is the Solent and then inland as far as the River Hamble. Calshot can be seen on the west coast of the Southampton Water. The Solent separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England. It is about 20 miles in length and varies in width from between one and four miles. It is a major shipping route and recreational area for water sports.
Cowes has been seen as a home for international yacht racing since 1815. The town gives its name to the world’s oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which occurs annually in the first week of August. Industry here has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boat-making, including the early flying boats, and sail-making.