Rowers all set for regatta

ONE of the biggest events in Whitby’s calendar gets underway tomorrow with several thousands of visitors flocking to the town for the three day carnival.

Whitby Regatta is the oldest sea regatta in the country and this year sees the 172nd event taking place after humble beginnings back in the latter 1800s when local fisherman competed against each other in fishing smacks and salmon cobles.

This gradually developed into rowing races with clubs from the Tyne to the Humber taking part.

There are now just three clubs involved – the Friendship, Fishermens and Scarborough Rowing Club – but the competition and rivalry is as fierce as ever with the clubs having been in training since April.

Under 14s and under 18s races are on Saturday afternoon while under 16s, ladies senior and men’s over 30s are on Sunday afternoon.

Taking to the water on Monday are men’s under 21s, under 23s and senior with prize giving for the entire weekend’s rowing taking place in the Pavilion at 7.30pm.

But as the event has grown, more and more events have been added to the programme with attractions for all the family.

The traditional bonny baby and glamorous granny contest is at the Pavilion on Saturday morning and also on the West Cliff are kit cars, vintage motorcycles and beach football.

Special events on Sunday include the fun run, vintage tractors and farm machinery, a dog show and a drop in from the Red Arrows.

The main attraction on Monday is set to be the annual regatta parade with walking floats and fancy dress setting off from the Market Place.

In addition throughout the weekend there are hundreds of stalls across town, children’s entertainers, helicopter rides, birds of prey, demonstrations by the fire service and terrier racing.

After the rowing presentations this year’s Regatta will end with a grand fireworks display.