Everything you need to know about the Red Arrows display and Sidmouth Regatta
- Credit: Archant
Spectators are expected to turn up in their thousands to watch the Red Arrows fly over Sidmouth for the start of the regatta weekend today (Friday).
The regatta has been a permanent fixture since 1989, when it was revived by a committee from Sidmouth Sailing Club.
The trio of Oliver and Adele Salter and Keith Knight have worked year after year to keep the event going with a series of water- and land-based events.
Kicking off the weekend today (Friday, August 25) are displays from the RAF’s elite aerobatic pilots, the Red Arrows.
A Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was due to appear in the evening, but has been cancelled while investigations are carried out into engine problems. The Red Arrows will fly over the seafront from 6.30pm.
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The committee is looking for volunteers to collect donations to ensure the Red Arrows return in 2018. Adele said: “If every single person put in a pound, the Red Arrows could come back many times.”
Anyone wishing to help should report to the Bedford Hotel at 5pm with proof of ID.
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Following the displays, the regatta will begin at 10.30am tomorrow (Saturday) with sailing races.
The popular three-legged race returns at 1pm, with competitors racing round six of the town’s pubs including The Volunteer, Radway, Black Horse, Anchor and, finally, Dukes.
Participants will be hoping to stay afloat for the evening raft race, which will get under way at 6.30pm. Competitors will be hoping to claim prizes for the fastest raft and best fancy-dress. Judging takes place at 6pm. The rafts need to be homemade, including paddles, and all participants under the age of 16 will need parental consent and are recommended to wear life-jackets.
In the evening, crowds are set to gather along The Esplanade to watch a display by Exmouth Lifeboat, before music from The Culprits and the explosive grand fireworks display at 9.30pm.
Families are set to enjoy another Sunday fun day with a packed programme of activities for the children.
Youngsters can take part in a family treasure hunt, fancy-dress and drawing competition. In the case of poor weather, all of the children’s events will take place in the sailing club.
The Sunday will also feature three sailing races from 10am. There is also a raffle.
Visitors can also take part in the regatta’s shop window competition if they can find all the businesses carrying a number and complete the form in their programme.
Oliver said: “The fact the town council seems to recognise it by supporting it by an annual grant shows people think it is a worthwhile event. It does bring a lot of people out.”
Programmes are available from the tourist information centre, Humbug and the sailing club.
The committee is looking for new blood to keep the event running for future years.
Oliver added: “We just do it because we have done it for so long. We have put in we are looking for people to take it on, so we do it rather than let it not happen.”
The committee thanked local businesses which have contributed sponsorship, prizes and donations to the regatta and the Red Arrows. Oliver said: “There has been very good support from local businesses. We have been very lucky with the support for the Red Arrows.”
He thanked Gliddons for providing the prizes for the children’s events.