Overview of Races and Events
Dartmouth Royal Regatta Sailing Week is the UK's largest sailing regatta after Cowes Week appealing to the serious racing enthusiast, but also offering family friendly events for the novice or cruising yachtsman.
Rockfish Junior Dinghies | Pilot Financial Senior Dinghies | Gaffer Series | White Sail Event | Motorboat Event | Savills Passage Race | Yacht & Keelboat Series | Classic Yacht Series | Sunday Funday Race
at RDYC Sat 24th -Tuesday 27th August
Junior Dinghies will race from Dartmouth/ Kingswear with a range of river courses. Classes expected Topper, Feva and Teras. Offering great fun and an excellent introduction to dinghy racing for under 16’s
Pilot Financial Senior Dinghies at Dittisham SC Sat 24th - Tuesday 27th August
With 2 races a day planned and favourable tides challenging racing set in this stunning location. Handicap racing and fleet racing expected for Laser, Solo, Quest and Streakers
Gaffers Series Sunday 25th - Monday 26th
White Sail Event - Sunday 25th - Monday 26th August
For yachts, Regatta Week kicks off with a lively 2-day White Sail Event. Open to all sailing yachts – you don’t specifically need white sails, but spinnakers and specialist racing sails are not allowed. Although traditionally held at the end of the week, this year’s White Sail event has moved forward to the Bank Holiday Weekend, and we look forward to welcoming many family crews.
On Sunday, the boats will set off within a short time window and sail a fixed course in Start Bay, noting their own start and finish times. This ever-popular ‘racing-lite’ format provides keen competition without the pressures of a formal start line or round-the-cans racing. The course will be announced nearer the time, to suit the weather. Boats will compete under their NHC handicap (see the RYA website http://www.rya.org.uk/racing/Pages/nhc.aspx, or for those not listed, a handicap will be allocated according to the best guess of the Chairman in the spirit of the event).
On Monday, there will be a light-hearted Cruising Skills Competition. Within a maximum time of 5 hours, boats will clock up miles (whether by sailing or motoring), demonstrate their navigation prowess, and clock up extra ‘miles’ by choosing from a host of activities – ranging from traditional seamanship like man overboard practice or dropping the anchor, to fun family frolics like swimming round the boat or catching a fish!
Each day will round off sociably with tall tale telling and convivial prize givings at DYC and RDYC.
Motorboat Event TBC Monday 26th August
This year we are hoping to introduce a competition to allow motorboat owners to join in the activities on the water. Running alongside the White Sail Cruising Skills Competition, seamanship and boat handling skills will be put to the test, while light-hearted challenges will keep the crew amused. Ideal Bank Holiday entertainment for all the family. Check back soon for more information.
Savills Regatta Passage Race Tuesday 27th August
Tuesday afternoon sees the start of the formal yacht racing, with the Brixham to Dartmouth Passage Race, this year kindly sponsored by Savills. This race traditionally attracts boats moving on from the previous weekend’s Royal Torbay Regatta as well as many boats which head round from Dartmouth in the morning. Classes expected for IRC, NHC and Classic Yachts. The course will be set to take best advantage of the weather conditions, to provide an exhilarating race along this dramatic stretch of coast, with Berry Head and Froward Point providing excellent viewing opportunities.
Yacht & Keelboat Series Wednesday 28th -Saturday 31st August
Superb yacht racing is on three courses in Start Bay, over four days, with usually at least two races per day. There will be a range of handicap classes for IRC, NHC and Classic boats, and class racing for J109, J24, Etchells and Squibs expected. Entries were up in 2018 and expectations are high for 2019 Dartmouth Royal Regatta Sailing Week being the chosen event for the Spinlock IRC South Western Championships. Less experienced crews and those wanting to participate “just for fun” may prefer the lively competition but perhaps slightly less intense atmosphere of the NHC class.
Top quality Race Management run series of excellent races with a mixture of courses in Start Bay providing a wonderful sight of these spectacular boats with their colourful spinnakers for spectators on the whole coast from Little Dartmouth to Blackpool Sands.
With three courses, the smaller and slower boats will compete close to the river mouth, while the faster boats will make the most of the fantastic sailing grounds of Start Bay. One day (usually Thursday or Friday, and depending on the weather) there will be a longer coastal race.
There are daily prizes with prizegiving before the evening’s entertainment, for all. There is of course the Series Prize Giving on Saturday evening.
Classic Yacht Series Wednesday 28th -Saturday 31st August
Dartmouth is already well known for its role in the Classic Channel Regatta, and entries from Classic Yachts were up at last year’s Royal Regatta. This year we hope to offer separate class starts and lively competition for these beautiful craft alongside their modern cousins in the 4-day Series.
Sunday Funday Race Sunday 1st September
Following a similar format to last year, this ‘race with a difference’ will be a test of planning, navigation and sailing skills. Last year’s competitors hugely enjoyed the new challenges which really made them think outside the box - but hopefully there will be a bit more wind this time!
With classes for IRC, NHC, Classic Yachts and Keelboats, the race will be a series of laps around a total of eight buoys, which will be announced the night before. After a normal startline and first leg, the choice of which buoys to use for each lap will be up to each boat – navigators, tacticians, argumentative foredeck crews (and perhaps even the skipper!) will all have a choice which order round the marks, dependent upon wind, tide and inclination, but all buoys allocated to their class must be rounded/passed. As if that wasn’t challenge enough, during each lap each boat must perform an allocated task such as man overboard drill or setting storm sails for 2 minutes.