Regatta Day

Regatta Day Quick Facts

2024 DateAugust 7, 2024
2025 DateAugust 6, 2025

Regatta Day

Regatta Day celebrates the longstanding tradition of rowing races and community gatherings. It is observed primarily in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where it holds significant cultural importance. The day is marked by competitive rowing races, family activities, food vendors, and various entertainment options, fostering a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition among participants and spectators alike.

Regatta Day traces its roots back to 1816, when the first official rowing race took place in St. John's, Newfoundland, making it the oldest organised sporting event in North America. The event has since been held annually, with exceptions made for wartime and weather disruptions. For many Canadians, especially those in Newfoundland and Labrador, Regatta Day is an opportunity to celebrate their province's unique heritage and maritime history while engaging in a fun-filled day of activities.

In Canada, Regatta Day is primarily observed in St. John's, Newfoundland, where it is also a civic holiday. On this day, the Royal St. John's Regatta takes place at Quidi Vidi Lake, attracting thousands of participants and spectators. Other rowing clubs and communities in Newfoundland and Labrador might also hold their own Regatta Day celebrations with races and festivities. The event typically occurs on the first Wednesday of August, though the date may shift to accommodate weather conditions or other circumstances. Regatta Day remains an essential part of Newfoundland and Labrador's culture and an exciting annual event for Canadians.

Top facts about Regatta Day

  • The oldest recorded Regatta Day is the Doggett's Coat and Badge race held in London. First held in 1715, it was organized as a rowing race for young watermen who were responsible for ferrying passengers and goods along the River Thames.

  • The Royal St. John's Regatta, held in St. John's, Newfoundland, is considered the oldest continuous sporting event in North America, dating back to 1816.
  • The motto on the Royal St John Regatta emblem says Certamen Traditione Regatur. This translates to let the contest be governed by tradition.
  • The race distance is 2.450 kilometers, and it involves making two 180-degree turns around buoys before returning to the starting point on Quidi Vidi Lake.
  • In 1949, the first women's crew competed in the Regatta Day races.
  • The current men's course record is 8 minutes and 51.32 seconds, set by the Outer Cove crew in 2007. The women's course record is 4 minutes and 56.10 seconds, set by the M5 team in 2018.

Top things to do for Regatta Day

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