The Red Arrows will be swooping into Whitby in the summer – giving Regatta a high-flying boost
One of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams will be flying overhead on the Sunday of the biggest event in the calendar, with crowds set to swell to catch a glimpse of the spectacle.
Regatta secretary, Ian Winspear, said: “We’re ecstatic! It’s a great spectacle to see them flying over the harbour. They will add a bigger crowd. They have so many followers around the country.”
A Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also display over Regatta weekend, August 10-13. Bringing the Red Arrows is thanks to funds from Sirius Minerals, which has agreed to pay for the flying acrobatic team to visit Whitby for the next three times.
The Regatta committee is now in the process of finalising the plans, including finding a flying display director – a role required for safety purposes. Preparation for the rest of Regatta is also gathering pace.
A fundraising quiz held on Wednesday night helped to raise £437.50.
Mr Winspear added: “Wer’ve got the entertainment and the fireworks booked.
“We’re also looking forward to the rowing and hopefully Whitby can win some cups back from Scarborough this year!”
Believed to be the oldest Regatta in the north east of England, Whitby Regatta celebrates the best in maritime sport and provides a fun-filled weekend of entertainment.
The weekend is reputed to have started out as a small-scale competition between fishermen in cobles, before expanding into yacht races.
In 1847, it is reported that the prize called the “Whitby Challenge Cup” carried a prize of 50 guineas presented to the captain or owner of the winning vessel.
Yacht racing formed the backbone of the Regatta events from this date through to the 1930s.
But it wasn’t to last. The high costs of building the yachts meant that they slowly disappeared from the scene.
The 1870s had seen the rowing tradition come to the fore. The Jet Works Amateur Rowing Club was formed in 1872 before Scarborough Amateur Rowing Club followed suit in 1874 and the Friendship Amateur Rowing Club formed in 1879.
Then came the Whitby Amateur Rowing Club in 1912, which later became the present day Whitby Fisherman’s Amateur Rowing Club.
All three clubs are still around today and form one of the key attractions at the annual Regatta.