You don’t need to own a boat, be a seasoned sailor or even a yacht enthusiast to have a great time at Fowey Regatta. Sailing may be at the heart of this week-long party, and watching the sailing from the harbour (preferably with ice-cream in hand) is always fun, but there’s so much more going on in this beautiful Cornish town.
There’s a long list of events for each of the Regatta’s days and you might well struggle to narrow down what you want to see and do. Highlights often include the Red Arrows doing their crazy thing in the skies above the harbour, a huge firework display to kick the week off and then another to end it, and the arrival of the boats themselves – a staggering sight as they appear en masse around the headland from Falmouth and crowd into the harbour.
The Town Quay hosts an array of live music, from traditional choirs to contemporary pop, every evening throughout the regatta. The carnival itself winds its way through the narrow streets mid-week in timeless Cornish summer style. Be prepared for the younger kids to get hopelessly over-excited and exhausted – crab-catching competitions, magic shows, beach combing expeditions, fun runs and children’s sports mean they won’t stand still for a minute.
The sailing itself is hard-fought – the crews are here to win – so competition is keen and a real eye-opener for spectators. The emphasis is on sailing, but the gig rowers play their part too and there are also fun raft and working boat races. With the water teeming with vessels of all shapes and sizes, it’s an incredible spectacle.
When you need a breather from all the frenetic activity, Fowey has a café or pub on every corner. Window seats in waterside venues are as popular as you’d imagine, so planning a day at the Regatta in advance and booking tables can make all the difference. Fowey is an easy drive from the north coast; parking is limited in the heart of Fowey town, but there are several car parks on the outskirts, all a 5-10 minute walk to the harbour.
Fowey Regatta and Carnival
Late August, Tel. 01726 832133. For parking and other general information – www.fowey.co.uk