The Red Arrows are set to make a return to the skies of Whitby at this year’s Regatta, the popular daredevils have said.
Official confirmation still has to be sent to the committee but the air display team has pencilled the event into its 2014 schedule.
On the Red Arrows official website it says the team will perform on the Sunday of the Regatta weekend which takes place between August 9 and 11.
However, Regatta chairman, Ivor Greer said he was surprised the information had been released as the Regatta committee was still awaiting the official letter but was “hopeful” the crowd favourite will be on the bill.
He said: “We have bid for them and are hopeful that they are going to come. They have a meeting in March to discuss the schedule and then they send the confirmation letters out.
“I didn’t know they had put it on their website and thought they would have waited until the meeting first to dot the ‘i’ and cross the ‘t’ but we know they have pencilled us in.”
The Red Arrows display is one of the main events of the Regatta programme with thousands of people lining the West cliff and the Abbey plains to get a good view. But they weren’t part of the line up last year due to the funding issues.
Mr Greer added: “It is one of the biggest crowd pullers. They were certainly missed last year. I still think it was a good attendance even when they weren’t here but when they are displaying you do get an influx of people at that particular point and everybody stops to watch them.”
It costs the Regatta committee in the region of £13,000 to bring the display team to Whitby which includes the cost of the display and the insurance.
Mr Greer added: “The shortfall will have to be put up by ourselves this year if we get them.”
The collection last year around the West Cliff and Pier Road made £2270.36 and other fundraising events will be taking place throughout the year.
But, the news has been welcomed. On the Whitby Gazette facebook page, Colin Winspear said: “The Red Arrows are a welcome bonus, but the spirit of the Regatta is the Rowing Races and generally having fun” and Kate Pointon added: “That’s great we have booked already.”
Also back will be the Greasy Pole competition which last year attracted thousands of onlookers and the opening show usually held at the Pavilion on the Friday night is also set to be overhauled.
Called the ‘Rhythm of the Night’ it will be staged on Friday and Saturday with a regatta theme.