Planning for Whitby Regatta 2015 gets under way next week with the first meeting of the year.
An open meeting is being held at the Conservative Club on Thursday at 7pm where new people are being encouraged to get involved with the running of the event - the highlight in Whitby’s calendar.
There is an opportunity for people to have their say on last year’s event, give ideas for future ones and to also register their interest in being a volunteer or marshall at the event which is staged by volunteers.
Accounts for last year’s regatta will be discussed at the annual general meeting which will be followed by a committee meeting.
It costs in the region of £40,000 to put on the regatta with the main outlays being the fireworks finale display, the Red Arrows, first aid cover, public insurances and trophies for the various competitions.
However, the Red Arrows continue to be one of the main crowd attractions but this year it is feared they won’t be part of the line up.
Over the last few years the regatta has been dipping into its reserves to pay for the air display and cannot continue to do so.
Chairman Ivor Greer said bad weather on the Sunday of last year’s Regatta led to a washout and a drop in takings via collection buckets.
He said: “Because we had had to pay for the Red Arrows we lost £13,000.
“It means that we are dipping into reserves that had been put away over a number of years by previous regatta committee members for a rainy day - and this was.
“The reserve gives you that cushion to fall back on and hopefully you get it back the following year.
“We have paid for them for the last couple of years and it has dented the reserves and that is one of the reasons we will not be able to pay again.”
It had been envisaged York Potash would fund the Red Arrows’ appearance but that cash was dependant on the potash mine being under construction.
But, calls for more information have led to delays in a planning decision being reached.
With six months of planning still ahead of the committee it is expected that there will be some changes to this year’s event.
The Tug of War will be axed due to dwindling numbers but the Greasy Pole which returned two years ago continues to be very popular.
The raft race stays afloat for 2015 and the new format Friday night opening show will kick the weekend off in style again.
There are also plans for a marquee to be set up on Tucker’s Field on the West Cliff.
It will sell local produce of food and crafts and other items.