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Join in the celebration at the Isles of Scilly's Inaugural Islands' Regatta

by Samantha Evamy 8 May 2016 16:08 BST 26-29 August 2016
The Bessie Ellen - 1904 West Country Trading Ketch © Islands’ Regatta

If you're at all marine-minded, the Isles of Scilly is the place to be over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The first Islands' Regatta is set to be a spectacular celebration of the islands' unique maritime history, and Scilly's biggest event of the summer.

The inaugural regatta, running from 26 to 29 August, will see a flotilla of classic and traditional boats sail into St. Mary's harbour from Falmouth for the event, and nautical festivities that will include a Round the Island race, a Parade of Sail, and a visit from a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, which will be open to the public. A breathtaking display from the Red Arrows will top the bill on the final day.

Also open to visitors will be replica tall ship, the Spirit of Falmouth, a 92-foot wooden schooner operated by the charity Turn to Starboard. Adding to the excitement will be the conclusion and prize-giving of the 2016 Redwing Championships; these wooden red-sailed dinghies always create a spectacle on the water.

There is a non-stop shore-side programme throughout the four days with live music, nautical-inspired fun and games and sea shanties sung with gusto! The RNLI Water Carnival, a maritime-themed exhibition and walks, and street entertainment and stalls, are just some of the activities planned.

An exciting crew programme has been put together for participating vessels. Crew briefings will be held the night before departure (Thursday, 25 August) at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth, at a barbecue sponsored by St. Mary's' Star Castle Hotel. The next evening, crews will be welcomed at a party aboard the Spirit of Falmouth. Registered boats will enjoy free berthing in St. Mary's harbour along with free shore-to-vessel transport. Classic boat owners are invited to join the flotilla by registering at: www.visitislesofscilly.com/islandsregatta

"We're so excited about our first Islands' Regatta. We can't wait to extend a warm Scillonian welcome to all the visitors and classic boat owners who'll be joining us to celebrate the islands' rich maritime heritage," says Zoe Parry, Events Manager for Visit Isles of Scilly. "It will be wonderful to see so many traditional boats gathered in our harbour bringing a historic feel back to the islands, and securing the Red Arrows is a real coup, not to mention a first for Scilly."

The Islands' Regatta is one of a series of new events on Scilly for 2016 supported by the Coastal Communities Fund. Other events include the Isles of Scilly Festival throughout May, the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship UK Qualifier on 18 June and the Taste of Scilly food and drink festival during September.

To find out more, including how to register a classic boat to take part in the regatta, go to: www.visitislesofscilly.com/islandsregatta