When I am not sailing myself, I love to watch boat racing, commonly known as Regatta and participate in the many events that abound in the United Kingdom. Great Britain is home to plenty of Regattas that are great occasions to enjoy and share the love of sailing with friends and family in the fantastic festivals and events held around the country. Whether you want to compete with other participants, show off your ship, or just enjoy the sight of hundreds of boats dotting the river under the sun, not to mention the tons of activities, sports events, parties and fairs associated with them, regattas are as many promises to spend a memorable moment. As I said, there are hundreds of Regattas held in the U.K. every year and listing them all here represents a herculean feat that I am not willing to accomplish! What I propose, however, is to give you a series of events not to miss this year in my opinion for all kind of boat lovers that have time to spend with family and friends this summer.
POOLE REGATTA 26th – 28th May 2018:
Reserved for competitors, the Poole Regatta is held biennial and will take place this year in Poole’s Bay and Poole’s Harbor for smaller classes. No less than 15 classes can participate in the three days competition from Shrimper, Redwing and 2.4 Meter classes up to Fast40+. It is in a unique postcard scenery that the race is held. Plenty of onshore activities are taking places during the competition for those who prefer to lay back and observe it from the mainland. The event is punctuated by a series of specially organised evening entertainments including food, music, bar extensions and free transport to and from the place where your ship is anchored. The Poole Regatta is definitely a staple of the Regattas being held this year int he U.K.
HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA 4th – 8th July 2018:
Probably the most famous Regatta in the world, the Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event to be held this year between July 4th and 8th on the River Thames. The event regularly attracts international racing crews to eminent titles and awards such as the prestigious Grand Challenge Cup where 8-men teams compete. The Regatta is taking place yearly since 1839 and has none other than Queen Elizabeth II as a patron.
To attend the event, you must buy a ticket to join one of the two enclosures provided for this purpose. The Regatta enclosure is opened to all and is free for children under 14 years of age. No dress code is imposed, but many visitors attending the Regatta borrow the spirit of the prestigious event and wear blazers and other rowing apparel. The Stewards enclosure, on the other hand, is much more formal. Exclusive to members of the Stewards – a selective self-elected body of well-known and successful rowers and scullers – and to their guests, the enclosure abides by a strict dress code and a series of rules to protect the integrity of its standards. Known as one of England’s big hat wearing events, the Henley Royal Regatta is also about displaying and admiring each other’s outfit!
APPLEDORE AND INSTOW REGATTA 29th July – 12th August 2018:
The Appledore and Instow Regatta, which usually runs for one week, will last two weeks this year due to tides and crews’ availability. Celebrating all this maritime, this Regatta includes a series of events, activities, and traditions that are sure to keep everyone entertained. Gaffers and Luggers Sailing Races, Model Yachts Racing, Dragon Boat Style Racing, but also Crabbing Contest, Art Shows, Fishing Competition, Greasy Pole Walking, Outboard Motor Race, Rowing, Sculling, and more are at the menu of this two-week long Regatta Taking place this August.
FALMOUTH WEEK 10th – 19th August 2018:
Every year since 1837, the town of Falmouth, on the coast of Cornwall in south-west England, puts on its party colors for nine days of festivities, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year. Whether to enjoy the most prominent sailing Regatta in the south-west, where yachts from all classes compete for no less than eight days or to take part in the packed program of mainland events held during the festival day and night, the Falmouth Week is one of England’s best festival in my opinion.
The festivities traditionally begin with a bang with the Pink Wig Ladies Night on Friday 10th August that is followed by m plenty of parades, concerts, and shows throughout the nine-day festival. The Regatta is also and first and foremost a high-level sailing competition whose briefing will be held on Saturday 11th. The race will start on the following Sunday until Saturday 18th and will be punctuated by enjoyable teas, prizes presentations, and entertainments throughout the competition. The multiple courses of the race held in Falmouth Bay and on Carrick Roads can be admired from several viewpoints along the river Fal. Because images are worth a thousand words, here is a short clip perfectly depicting what you can expect from Falmouth’s Week!
PETERBOROUGH SUMMER REGATTA 11th – 12th August 2018:
The eastern England city of Peterborough known for its 12th and 13th-century Cathedral holds a summer rowing Regatta yearly. Along the river Nene, the two-day long Regatta’s quality racing, excellent facilities, and bar is an extraordinary occasion to visit the historical city and participate in a well-organized rowing race.
The United-Kingdom is home to many other great Regattas held in the summer such as the Dartmouth Royal Regatta, The Torbay Royal Regatta, The Warwick Boat Club Regatta and many more. The ones I have listed above are some of the best I had the pleasure to attend to and that I really recommend to my readers. One I will not miss this summer is the Falmouth Week, so maybe you’ll see me there!