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Torbay Week is the premiere sailing regatta in the South West

Torbay's first recorded sailing competition took place in 1813, making 2013 the 200th anniversary & Torbay Week is sure to mark that historic landmark.
Devon has a flotilla of water-based festivals and regattas during the summer, but the Torbay Week is one of the premiere events in the South West. It takes place from Friday to Wednesday over the August Bank Holiday weekend and attracts sailors and yachtsmen from all over the county.

Torbay Week takes place in one of the most scenic geoparks along the south coast. The sheltered curving bay is ideal for sailing and Torbay has been hosting regattas and sailing competitions for many years.

History of sailing in Torbay

Local history records that the first sailing competition in the bay took place in 1813, making 2013 the 200th anniversary. The first official regatta was Babbacombe Regatta in 1826, followed by the Torbay Regatta in 1839. This was awarded the Royal Warrant and from that the Torbay Royal Regatta was inaugurated.

‘s first regatta was held in 1848, followed in 1886 by the first Torquay Yacht Club Regatta and in 1919 by the Brixham Regatta for Sailing Trawlers. The sheltered waters of this area were later chosen as the sailing venue for the 1948 London Olympics. Special regattas in Torbay have since included the 150th Anniversary Regatta in 1963 and the Anglo Dutch Regatta in 1988. The first Torbay Week as such was held in 2008.

Torbay Week is organised by four local sailing clubs

Torbay Week is a lively six-day event organised jointly by four local sailing clubs. Each club boasts a long history organising national and international championships in their time. By combining their experience and efforts, they ensure that Torbay Week remains one of the most prestigious regattas on the UK sailing calendar.

The racing series continues to grow and now includes the IRC South West Regional Championships, the International Moths Grand Prix, the Cherub National Championships and races for unrated cruisers, sports boats, sonatas, asymmetric dinghies and junior dinghies. It certainly covers all ages and sailing/boating interests.

If you enjoy sailing, or even just watching these fun competitive events in a beautiful setting, you are sure to want to visit the Torbay area in late August. As well as being a competitive series of races, Torbay Week raises funds for a worthy local charity. The chosen cause for 2014 is .

Sailing is a popular spectator sport in Torbay

There are plenty of wonderful spots for viewing the daily races from the coastline of this horseshoe-shaped bay. Watch the colourful sails of dinghies, admire the dexterity of the crew and hold your breath as you watch dinghies leaning precariously as they race along in a blustery wind. Few settings are more idyllic than this large sheltered bay for providing fantastic summer sailing conditions in an area that is noted for being warmer than the rest of the UK.

There are classes for all types of dinghies and yachts which are covered by four main groups: IRC yachts, keel boats, dinghies and junior dinghies. Each course is carefully overseen by an experienced race management team. In order to take part in one or more of the races that make up Torbay Week, you need to download an entry form from the official Torbay Week website.

As well as daily races, there are plenty of social events which are organised and hosted by local sailing clubs. There are a number of non-sailing events planned including a Red Arrows display, fireworks and a Blades air display.

Whether you live in Torbay or plan to visit for Torbay Week, you are sure to be warmly welcomed by the local clubs.

Do you have an interest in sailing or are you planning to attend Torbay Week? Do share your information and comments with other sailors about this top sailing event. If you have attended this or any other regatta in the southwest, we’d love to hear your thoughts too!

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.


  1. Ben Richardson says:

    Sorry for my ignorance but do we need to have experience with the dinghies before we can enter a race? I wanna know if there are any non-serious races absolute beginners can enter after they’ve done a bit of training in the morning. I do fear I’ll get a negative response but you don’t get anywhere in life without asking. I’ve always been a fan of watching the boat racing championships and have been all over the country and in some parts of Southern Europe. The weekend after next will be my first visit to the South West Regional Championships and so I’m looking forward to it.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what else I can do down there or anything that I might not wanna miss?

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