A Right Royal Regatta
Where can you catch street carnivals, yachtie totty and the Red Arrows? The Fowey Royal Regatta. No ordinary sailing regatta, this historic event isn’t all about the spectacle of boats skimming the ocean crests under sail. Throngs of landlubbers and families flock to the week-long fiesta that sees the town of Fowey throbbing with festivities long after the boats cross the finish line.
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Sailing, Family Festival Fun, Red Arrows
Fowey Royal Regatta
69 Hill Hay
Sunday 19th August - Saturday 25th August
Admittedly, if I was after live music, crab-catching competitions and pasty cutting, a sailing regatta isn’t the first place I’d think of going. However, taking its place in the midst of the summer holidays (19th-25th August), Fowey Royal Regatta lays on a festival feast that bulges far beyond its sailing roots. Being very much a family affair, children’s entertainment includes gingerbread decorating, beachcombing and carnival processions, while into the evening there are firework displays, torch-lit dinghy processions and concerts on the town quay.
Sailing is still at the heart of the event, and the harbour-side location commands a stunning view for watching action out on the water. Sleek racing yachts head off on passage races between Fowey and Falmouth, then there are shorter races around St Austell Bay and courses around the buoys. It’s not only dinghies and day boats you’ll see in action; highlights also include the Falmouth Working
Boats, gigs and raft races.
Peering out to sea from the head of the estuary, though Fowey lacks the depth and size of Falmouth’s harbour, its maritime history is none too poor: both Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh sailed from here, and it was major trading port from which Cornwall’s china clay is still exported. Now a popular yachting destination, its tangle of tranquil streets will be hijacked by a full-throttle party ambience during the length of the regatta.
And a Royal regatta it certainly is, having been attended by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Queen Elizabeth II in its long past. One of the most revered guest appearances these days is by the Red Arrows, who have laid on an amazing aerial display here for over 30 years.
So, what are you waiting for? Dig out your Bodum stripes and crabbing nets and get in on the action.