Devon LivingIssue #05

Regatta season

We take a look at the host of regattas set to take place across Devon this summer.

Whether a seasoned sailor or shoreline spectator keen to enjoy the revelry, there’s a host of fabulous regattas to enjoy across Devon this summer.

Don’t you just love the summer? It’s that time of year when Devon truly comes alive with events and festivities of all shapes and sizes happening across the county, from music and food festivals to classic car events. We particularly love regatta season, as thousands of happy revelers flock to the coast to enjoy a range of watersports events in beautiful waters. The great thing is there’s something for everyone – you might love competitive sailing or simply having a splash in a raft race.

Perhaps, however, you can’t think of anything worse than taking to the water. Well, that’s ok too, because there’s a whole host of fun things going on shoreside without needing to get wet! Expect fireworks, fancy dress and fabulous food to name just a few of the activities awaiting your arrival.

So, we take a look at some of the regattas headed to Devon’s south coast this summer, between them offering something to cater for all tastes, including barrels of family fun.


Salcombe Gin 2018
Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta

(5th to 10th August)

We kick things off in Salcombe, a beautiful seaside town on the Kingsbridge estuary, in the South Hams, in the South Devon Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. Salcombe is favoured for its pretty streets lined with independent bistros and boutiques, and, of course, the stunning sailing waters it gives direct access to.

The Salcombe Gin 2018 123rd Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta, from Sunday 5th to Friday 10th August, will see the town alive with sailors, as hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes take to the water to enjoy competitive sailing. Geared towards those with a keen interest in sailing, entries must be made in advance of the event.

For more information and details on entry, visit

Salcombe Town Regatta

(11th to 18th August)

The festivities in Salcombe come in two distinct halves, with a second regatta following hot on its heels – Salcombe Town Regatta, which returns this year from 11th to 18th August.

Always a popular event on south Devon’s summer calendar, the Salcombe Town Regatta is slightly less formal and competitive than its preceding sister event, focussing on a host of shoreside events, water activities and plenty of family fun.

We catch up with the organisers to see what you can expect this year. “Some new events will be joining the old favourites of the regatta, one of these being the water carnival, which is being brought back after a break. Of course, our regatta isn’t complete without our harbour swim (which now requires pre-registration), the mud race, and our firework display on the Thursday night. There is plenty to do for the whole family and regatta programmes will be on sale though out Salcombe.”

For more information, visit or SalcombeTownRegatta


Torbay Royal Regatta 2018

(25th to 27th August)

The Torbay Royal Regatta is one of the oldest events of its kind in the country, and takes place this year from Saturday 25th to Monday 27th August. The organisers give
us the lowdown.

“This year sees an exciting new format with three days of racing over the bank holiday weekend, followed by the Royal Regatta Anniversary Challenge Cup Races taking place on Tuesday 28th. The regatta will feature the VX One Sportsboat Class National Championship and the 29er Class Summer Championship (a new event this year) and will offer competitive racing for IRC Yachts, cruisers, sportsboats, junior dinghies, asymmetric and non-asymmetric dinghies.”

So what makes the event such an exciting draw? “Racing will take place in some of the finest sailing waters in Europe, with easy and quick access to the race areas from the sheltered harbour. Over many years, the Royal Torbay Yacht Club has established an enviable reputation in hosting top class regattas and championships; the 2018 regatta will be no exception. The English Riviera is a great place to be in August and competitors can be sure that you will enjoy a friendly atmosphere, cordial hospitality and great shoreside entertainment featuring regatta welcome night, other themed party nights, fireworks and much, much more.”

For more information visit 


Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta

(30th & 31st August & 1st September)

The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta has a long established heritage, dating back almost 200 years to 1822, when it was a one-day event with three sailing races and just the one rowing race. Over the years, it has gradually grown in size, stature and variety to the week-long extravaganza it is today, with a plethora of events and entertainments organised both on the water and ashore. So whether you’re a competitive sailor or simply a spectator who likes to join in the revelry, there’s something there for you. Now celebrating its 174th regatta, the event goes back to its roots for inspiration.

The organisers tell us: “We are delighted to say this year the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta will focus on what is our biggest asset in Dartmouth – the River Dart! We will be looking back to Regattas past, going back to our fundamental roots of a town rowing, sailing and competitive Regatta. We will of course be maintaining the entertainment for visitors, families and residents alike with live music in the Bandstand, Royal Avenue Gardens and the Regatta Market with its many craft stalls which will be in our unique and beautiful Old Market Square this year. We are thrilled to announce the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta Tennis Tournament will celebrate 50 years of competition in 2018, and there surely cannot be more breathtaking surroundings in which to enjoy a tennis match!”

In addition to the ever hotly contested local rowing and WEARA races, and the huge variety of sailing, there’s something for all the family on the comfort of dry land. A week of family fun kicks off with the Royal Regatta Fete on Saturday 25th August, featuring Morris dancing, a dog show, Judy Spiers and much more!

Don’t miss the regatta’s popular fancy dress competition, and with this year’s theme being ‘sea creatures’, it’s time to get really creative with your costumes. The fun ‘Spot the Oddity’ competition runs throughout the week, while the traditional Royal Regatta Ball will be held in the Guildhall on Tuesday 28th August.

“Think chillout time, for you and the kids in our very open air arena! You won’t find a better view in Dartmouth, whilst you relax. Enjoy our Caribbean themed family Regatta Sundowner from midday on Thursday 30th August, with amazing band Riveria Dogs and Dartmouth’s own DJ Rich Baker: prepare to dance the day away with a rum punch or two!  The Cocktail Kings will be mixing and shaking it up and Bays Brewery will be on hand with their famous local ales during the event. On Friday 30th August and Saturday 1st September, the park will become the Sunsail Family Fun Zone, with obstacles, slides and bouncy castles to keep your precious cargo entertained, as well as the exclusive Fat Face chillout area, a massive hit last year!”

A particular highlight this year is bound to be the two fantastic ‘Flyboarding’ displays from local man James Prestwood on the Saturday. “An extreme sport, Flyboarding will take you on a spectators adrenaline rush as James performs amazing stunts and tricks 50 feet above the River Dart!” This is followed by the traditional Saturday Night firework display.

For all the timings and details, keep a look out for the souvenir programme, on sale from 1st August at Pillars, Holliss Filling Station and Dartmouth Visitor Centre and Kingswear Stores and Kingswear Post Office.

For the latest up-to-date information, visit or dartmouthregatta

Let  the fun begin!

So, as you can see, there’s no shortage of excitement to be had across Devon’s coast this summer, both afloat and ashore. Whether you like to play an active role or simply kick back with a glass of something cool and refreshing, we hope to see you there!


Discover More

Of course, there’s much more to enjoy across Devon this summer. Here’s a small selection of other regattas to look out for:

Teignmouth Regatta:
5th August to 12th August

Frogmore Village Regatta:
19th August

Shaldon Regatta:
19th to 27th August

"Racing will take place in some of the finest sailing waters in Europe, with easy and quick access to the race areas from the sheltered harbour."