There is fun for all at the annual Whitby Regatta! Here’s why you should visit the 2023 Regatta.
Whitby draws visitors for several festivals and events each year, including the Whitby Regatta.
The Regatta is a boat lover’s dream as people gather for a three-day festival featuring rowing team competitions, yacht races, and rafters competing against each other along the North Yorkshire coast.
This year Whitby Regatta will take place from 12th – 14th August 2023
What is the Whitby Regatta?
What started as a small competition between fishers has become the oldest sea regatta in England, with large crowds gathering for the past 173 years. After the event was started by anglers competing in their fishing boats, the yachts came to the area, racing for The Whitby Challenge Cup in 1847. The Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club sponsored the race, which paid the captains or owners of the race 50 guineas. From 1847 to the mid-1930s, the yacht races became the main draw for the Regatta.
The Regatta became switched to rowing races in about 1872. However, rowing continued to grow, with several regattas taking place along the English coast. Many of the rowing clubs in the original competitions are still around today, competing in the modern Whitby Regatta, including Whitby’s Fisherman’s Amateur Rowing Club.
The Wilson Cup, awarded to the winner of the rowing competitions, was first presented in 1901, along with a prize of 25 pounds. The cup is one of the most coveted rowing trophies presented today. Along with the rowing competitions, raft races are conducted with competitors trying to win at all costs. Competitors can add missiles to their raft’s construction if they are harmless flour or soot bags used to shoot at their competitors.
In 1900, 11,000 people attended the Regatta, and today it draws crowds of 20,000 for the three-day festival. No longer just a rowing competition, the Whitby Regatta also features a beach soccer festival for children under 11 years of age and other activities geared toward kids that take place on all three days. A 4k fun run, which takes place along the sea wall, comes on the second day of the gathering, and displays from the Army, Navy, and RAF make up other events at the modern-day Regatta.
While the boat races are still some of the main events, vehicles of other types are also featured. There are vintage, classic and sports car rallies at the Regatta, along with motorcycle displays, showing off riders’ skills on Whitby’s beach. The event is capped off with a fireworks display. The three-day event is scheduled for August of each year.
Whitby Regatta 2023
The Whitby Regatta is scheduled from the 12th – 14th August 2023
The Whitby Regatta committee, its volunteers, rowing clubs, and Whitby Yacht Club have worked very hard in conjunction with Scarborough Borough Council and other partners to perpetuate their historic community event that is so important to Whitby and the community.
With so many people attending the event, bus and rail services are available to help you get there, so you don’t have to drive through the mass of Regatta attendees. You can find the schedule for public transportation, the events list, and other information on the Whitby Regatta Facebook page or by going to their website at www.whitbyregatta.co.uk.
Whether you attend the fair, watch the boat races or see the aerobatic stunts of the Red Arrows, the RAF’s display team, prepare to have fun at the Whitby Regatta.