Whitby Regatta returns after being canceled for the first time since WWII due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Whitby Regatta was canceled last year due to the pandemic
Whitby Regatta was canceled last year due to the pandemic

The regatta, which includes yacht and rowing races, a parade, fireworks and other free entertainment, has been held in the city since 1847.

A delay in easing lockdown measures forced the event to be reduced, but many traditional features remained.

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President Ivor Greer said, “I think everything went very, very well. Obviously this has been reduced, but we are completely happy with everything that has happened. People are still a bit skeptical about Covid but that hasn’t deterred people from coming to the event and trying to get back to some normalcy. “

About 15,000 people attended the event this year

Mr Greer estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 people attended, compared to 20,000 typical visitors during a typical racing weekend.

The event included rowing races between crews from Whitby’s Friendship and Fishermen, as well as Scarborough.

The West Cliff area has hosted stalls, Doctor Phantasma’s circus performance show, Capri Club cars, Japanese bikes, as well as vintage cars and tractors.

A gymkhana motorcycle was held on the beach and there is also a fair starting at 10am today on Pier Road and along part of the West Pier.

The regatta will end with a spectacular fireworks display at 9.45 p.m. on Monday 23 August.

Mr Greer said this year’s regatta will be self-funded after the economic impact of the pandemic. “We didn’t think it was fair to give businesses a begging bowl after last year, but they can still help if they want. “

The event is an important part of Whitby’s legacy, being one of the last two surviving Victorian regattas still taking place on the North East Coast.

The regatta started with local fishermen competing against each other in small pebble boats before the introduction of yachting.

Competitive rowing was added to the program in 1872, and many of the original Whitby and Scarborough clubs still participate today.

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