The annual extravaganza that is the Fowey Royal Regatta returns next month, and there is loads to look forward to. With visitors coming from all around the world, you won’t want to miss your chance to book up at our boutique hotel Fowey, an ideal location for exploring the town of Fowey and not missing any of the events of the week.
This year, the Regatta takes place from Sunday 19th August to Saturday 25th August. For those who have never been before, it is one of Britain’s premier sailing events, and 2018 will feature regular events like the carnival and Giant Pasty ceremony along with some exciting new appearances. Read on to find out what the highlights of the week will be, so you know what things you won’t want to miss!
Sailing is a huge part of the Regatta with events every day of the week. Expect to see races from quality sailing yachts, where the finishing line is in front of the Royal Fowey Yacht Club. The sailing races take place in St Austell Bay, but there are other smaller races every morning outside the harbour. Troys, known as working boats, dinghies and other vessels complete triangle courses, which are great fun to watch. Many locals and amateurs take part so that you can be guaranteed for a good laugh!
The Monday night festivities of the Regatta Week is a new addition to the programme, as music critic Lee Trewhela presents hand-picked and up and coming Cornish talent for a night of fantastic musical entertainment. Also appearing on the Quay during the Royal Regatta Week is King Creative, a rock and roll band with metal overtones playing songs from heavy metal legends such as Motörhead, Megadeth and more. There will also be performances from DJs, local musicians, tribute bands and “Cornwall’s answer to Frank Sinatra”, Andy Marshall, who will be playing timeless classics such as ‘Come Fly With Me’ and ‘Night and Day’.
The Carnival procession on Wednesday 22nd August is a favourite of many. The spectacle sets off from Squires Field at 7.15pm and makes its way through the town. Visitors and locals will be in a wonderful array of costumes – there are prizes for the best dressed. The shops and cafes in town will also be dressing up, decking themselves out in the theme of the carnival.
One of the most popular features of the Regatta is the Flora Dance, where everyone dresses in white, and there are gorgeous flowers everywhere; scattered on the ground, in people’s hair and adorning shop windows. People dance through the town, starting at Place Gates, accompanied by marching brass bands and it is a lovely sight to see. The Flora Dance is a long-standing tradition of the Regatta and part of an ancient fertility ritual.
Crowning the Queens
A Royal Regatta has to have its Queens! On the Monday evening of the Regatta Week, the Crowning of the Queen takes place at the Place House grounds. Place House is a Grade I listed building and only open to the public for the crowning. The crowning will be carried out by the Regatta Chairman Malcolm Palin and Fowey mayor Ruth Finlay, and the Royals are then guided to their floats to be the head of the Flora Dance.
Kernow King, Cornwall’s homegrown favourite comedian, will return to Fowey after several sell-out shows here a few years ago. The King, also known as Edward Rowe, will be performing his laugh-out-loud stand-up routine to a packed out venue on Thursday 23rd August.
Throughout the week, there will be food stalls where you can buy some delicious snacks and treats on the quayside, but the highlight for any foodies visiting during the Regatta is the Giant Pasty ceremony. Definitely one of the weirdest events of the week, it is a highlight for visitors and locals alike. The Giant Pasty, made by the Quay Bakery, arrives by boat from Polruan, accompanied by the Fowey Town Band. The pasty is then cut up by the Carnival Queen and dished out to the children on the Quay. There is also a pasty eating competition on Thursday 23rd August.
Though we won’t be seeing the RAF Red Arrows at this year's Regatta, we will see an exceptional performance from the Red Devils, an incredible parachute display team. Formed in 1964, the Red Devils are the official parachute display team of the British Army and Parachute Regiment. The team is 15 men strong, all of whom are full time serving paratroopers and professional skydivers. At the Regatta, you can see them perform freefall skydives at 120mph before deploying their parachutes and demonstrating amazing formations.
You can find information about the time of events and venues at Fowey Information Centre. Why not take a look at our blog posts about other attractions and activities in and around Fowey?