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Racer Chasers - The Onshore Fun

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The scene is set for one of the best Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week's ever, with almost 1000 yachts due to take part in the week long regatta. It is the World's premier sailing event with a rich heritage attracting 8,000 competitors from amateurs to Olympic and World champions - furthermore the excitement is not just confined to the water.

For eight days the Solent will be filled with sails of all sizes and colours and Cowes Yacht Haven buzzing full of action at night.

It is the place to observe the 'racer chasers'.

They are the girls who don fake diamonds and slinky dresses in the hope of bagging a rich yachtie. They come out in droves, young and old, like bees around a honey pot. Single women, and some not so free, all hoping to find a husband.

They are drawn by the appeal of the seemingly glamorous lifestyle - the travel, the money, real diamonds and the second homes that supposedly go with marrying a man who owns a big yacht. In fact, most of the men hold down regular jobs and sailing is just a hobby, and the boats are usually on loan or sponsored by the owner.

After racing hard all day, the crew certainly want to party at night. The beer tent fills up around 6pm with salty sailors, all recalling tales of how they narrowly missed winning their race.

Then out they come.

Husband hunters on the prowl, in pairs or in groups, oozing confidence, and pressing their bodies against the perfectly toned and tanned sailors as they make their way to the bar .

Those who really want to make an impression head towards the star-studded paradise known as the Royal Yacht Squadron where the Royal Ocean Racing Club hold their cocktail parties on the lawn. It is the perfect opportunity to eye up royalty and other famous faces. Past visitors include: Ewan McGregor, Ben Ainslie, Simon Le Bon, Alistair Campbell and rock royalty Bryan Adams.

So what is it that turns girl-next-door into sultry, man-hungry party animal?

I caught up with Libby, from London, who is struggling to bring up her two children alone. But she loves to don her glad rags and visit Cowes for the glamour and escapism in the hope of falling in love. She freely admits that for her , and many women like her, Cowes Week brings excitement in to their lives.

'It gives me a break from the monotony of ironing and clearing up after the kids. This time is just for me'.

They all live in the hope of being swept away by a millionaire bachelor who will fulfil their every need.

So who can blame them for living out their dream? Who can deny them - and us - the sense of fun they bring to Cowes?

If they don't find true love this year, there's always Cowes Week next year and the year after that.