Large crowds expected for Sidmouth Regatta

PUBLISHED: 11:14 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:48 22 August 2017

The spectacular fireworks display at the Sidmouth Regatta on Saturday evening. Ref shs regatta fireworks 2 Picture by Simon Horn.

The spectacular fireworks display at the Sidmouth Regatta on Saturday evening. Ref shs regatta fireworks 2 Picture by Simon Horn.

Simon Horn

Spectators are expected to turn up in their thousands to watch the Red Arrows fly over Sidmouth for the start of the Regatta weekend.

Competitors take to the sea in the Sidmouth Regatta on Saturday. Ref shs regatta raft race 2 Picture by Simon Horn.Competitors take to the sea in the Sidmouth Regatta on Saturday. Ref shs regatta raft race 2 Picture by Simon Horn.

The annual event 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 on Friday, August 25, is displays from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display and RAF’s elite aerobatic pilots.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Lancaster Bomber and two Spitfires have now confirmed their flight time as 5.50pm with the Red Arrows flying over the seafront from 6.30pm.

Red Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6391. Picture: Terry IfeRed Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6391. Picture: Terry Ife

The committee is looking for volunteers will be collecting donations to ensure they 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.

Following the displays, the Regatta will begin at 10.30am on 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 underway 6.30pm. Competitors will be hoping to claim prizes for the fastest raft and best fancy dress.

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 firework 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. 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 said: “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 then let it not happen.”

The committee thanked local businesses which have contributed sponsorship, prizes and donations to the Regatta and the Red Arrows. He 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.

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