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Red Arrows confirmed for Scilly's first Islands' Regatta

by Samantha Evamy 14 Jul 2016 19:05 BST 26-29 August 2016
Red Arrows confirmed for Scilly's first Islands' Regatta © Visit Isles of Scilly

It won't just be the sea that provides the spectacle and excitement at the Isles of Scilly's inaugural Islands' Regatta. Up in the sky, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows will bring the August Bank Holiday weekend event to a close with a breath-taking aerobatic display over the islands. Confirmation of the Red Arrows' visit follows a recent site inspection by Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10, who is the supervisor for all practices and displays for the aerobatic team and coordinates its summer season.

The 20-minute display over Scilly by the world-famous Hawk jets and their pilots will start at 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August, dependent on the weather. With their trademark combination of close formations and precision flying, the display promises a memorable finale to Scilly's first Islands' Regatta, which runs from 26 to 29 August.

The regatta itself, a celebration of the Isles of Scilly's unique maritime history, is set to be the islands' biggest event of the summer. The spectacle on the water will include a flotilla of classic and traditional boats sailing into St. Mary's harbour from Falmouth for the event, a Round the Island race circling St. Mary's and finishing at St. Agnes, and a Parade of Sail between St. Mary's and Tresco.

Also visiting for the weekend will be a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate and the Spirit of Falmouth, a 91-foot wooden tall ship operated by the charity Turn to Starboard, both of which will be open to be public. Adding to the excitement will be the conclusion and prize-giving of the 2016 Redwing Championships.

Visitors can also enjoy a non-stop shoreside programme with live music from local bands, ale festivals, street entertainment, stalls and demonstrations. There will be a guided walk by leading historic shipwreck expert Richard Larn, and an exhibition at the Isles of Scilly Museum exploring Scilly's rich maritime heritage.

Children's activities will include a swashbuckling pirate cruise from St. Mary's to St. Martin's on Saturday afternoon, with storytelling, colourful nautical characters and an island treasure hunt. Pop-up performances of poems, stories and theatre will surprise and entertain outdoors, in shops and on boats. And the much-loved RNLI Water Carnival is back on the Sunday, with favourites such as a raft race, slippery pole and 'Dunk the Hunk'.

"We can't wait to launch our first Islands' Regatta and extend a warm Scillonian welcome to all the visitors and boat owners who'll be joining us for the event,' says Zoe Parry, Events Manager at the Islands' Partnership. We've put together a packed programme of nautical-inspired activities to celebrate the islands' maritime history, to be topped by a breath-taking display from the Red Arrows, which will be a first for Scilly!

"We're still encouraging classic and traditional boat owners to sign up to take part in the regatta. An exciting programme has been assembled for participating vessels, including a crew briefing on Thursday, 25 August at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth, with a barbecue sponsored by St. Mary's' Star Castle Hotel, and a welcome party at the Slip Inn, sponsored by The Mermaid. Registered boats will also enjoy free berthing in St. Mary's harbour along with free shore-to-vessel transport."

If you're at all marine-minded, the Isles of Scilly is the place to be over the August Bank Holiday weekend. To find out more, including how to register a boat to take part in the event, go to:

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 first Taste of Scilly festival running throughout September, when Scilly raises a glass to the very best of its local food and drink.