BUSINESSS boomed during Cowes Week, with huge numbers of visitors reported in the town.
Signs the longed-for economic recovery may finally be under way were reported by business leaders and ferry company Red Funnel.
In the main Cowes Yacht Haven arena, huge queues meant, at one stage, the bar ran out of a guest real ale and had to hastily order in more supplies.
And after a slow start, the mass of visitors provided a shot in the arm to local businesses, according to the town’s Chamber of Commerce.
Chris Troup, who owns the popular Anchor public house in the High Street, The Lifeboat at East Cowes and holds the concession to run the Yacht Haven beer tent, said: "We were busy every day and were about 15 per cent up on last year.
"I think it was down to a combination of things. The weather was good and so was the racing. There was only one day when they could not race and they all had some really good times on the water.
"I think the economy does seem to be picking up and people are prepared to spend a bit of money."
Chairman of Cowes Business Association Maddy James said: "Compared to the previous year, it was fantastic. It was 100 per cent better than the year before."
Red Funnel’s Red Jet passengers between Saturday, August 3, and last Saturday were up by 9.8 per cent, compared with 2012.
Michelle Warner, sales and marketing director at Cowes Week Ltd, said: "We’ve had a brilliant week, with some fantastic champagne sailing conditions. We’re delighted with how it’s all gone."