A regatta is a series of boat races. The term typically describes racing events of rowed or sailed water craft, although some powerboat race series are also called regattas. A regatta often includes social and promotional activities which surround the racing event, and except in the case of boat type (or "class") championships, is usually named for the town or venue where the event takes place.
Although regattas are typically amateur competitions, they are usually formally structured events, with comprehensive rules describing the schedule and procedures of the event. Regattas may be organized as championships for a particular area or type of boat, but are often held just for the joy of competition, camaraderie, and general promotion of the sport.
Sailing race events are typically held for a single class (a single model of boat, such as the Islander 36) and usually last more than one day. Regattas may be hosted by a yacht club, sailing association, town or school as in the case of the UK's National School Sailing Association and Interscholastic Sailing Association (high school) regattas or Intercollegiate Sailing Association (college) regattas.
One of the largest and most popular rowing regattas is the Henley Royal Regatta held on the River Thames, England. One of the largest and oldest yachting regattas in the world is Cowes Week, which is held annually by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England, and usually attracts over 900 sailboats. Cowes Week is predated by the Cumberland Cup (1775), Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta (1822) and Port of Plymouth Regatta (1823). North America's oldest regatta is the Royal St. John's Regatta held on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland every year since 1826.
Etymology: From Venetian regata (“contention for mastery”), from regatare (“compete, haggle, sell at retail”), possibly from recatare
Oldest sailing regattas
- 1775 - Cumberland Cup - organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK
- 1822 - Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth, UK
- 1823 - Port of Plymouth Regatta, Plymouth, UK
- 1826 - Cowes Week, Isle of Wight, UK
- 1828 - Royal Harwich Regatta, Harwich, UK
- 1837 - Sydney Australia Day Regatta - held every year since 1837 - longest running without a break
- 1838 - Royal Hobart Regatta, Australia
- 1840 - Auckland Anniversary Regatta, New Zealand
- 1844 - Royal Geelong Regatta / Audi Victoria Week, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Australia
- 1845 - New York Yacht Club Regatta, USA
- 1849 - Race to the Coast - Southern Yacht Club Regatta, Oldest continuously running regatta in the Western Hemisphere USA
- 1849 - Sandy Bay Australia Day Regatta Australia
- 1851 - America's Cup, usually competed for in the country of the current defender/holder
- 1851 - Port Esperance Regatta, Australia
- 1857 - Gorey Regatta, Jersey, Channel Islands
- 1885 - Appledore & Instow Regatta, North Devon, UK
- 1886 - Torbay Royal Regatta, Torbay, UK
- 1894 - Britannia Boating Club, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Appledore & Instow Regatta - Founded in 1885, tracing its origins back to 1831, is held annually on the River Torridge between the Villages of Appledore & Instow North Devon, UK.
- Balaton Regatta, held every year on the Lake Balaton between the teams of Veszprém Campus and Keszthely Campus of University of Pannonia
- Chichester-Cowes Challenge, held annually at the end of June on the Solent, and welcomes only classic wooden boats, mainly built in the 1920s-1930's..
- COEP Regatta held annually at the College of Engineering Pune in India
- Dad Vail Regatta, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Head of the Charles Regatta, on the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Head of the Hooch, on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Henley Royal Regatta, held every year on the river Thames is one of several prestigious British events
- Lent and May Bumps, the two main intercollegiate bumps races of the University of Cambridge, held on the Cam.
- Maltese regatta
- Marathon Rowing Championship a continuous 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) rowing regatta on Cane River Lake in Natchitoches, Louisiana
- Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held annually at the end of August on the River Dart.
- Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare (Regatta of the Historical Marine Republics) Italy
- Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) Venice, Italy
- Regattas on the River Thames lists all Thames rowing regattas and other rowing events
- Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, in the first week of August is one of the largest annual regattas in North America, attracting hundreds of clubs in 128 junior, senior, and master's events.
- Royal St. John's Regatta, held every year on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland, North America's oldest annual sporting events.
- Summer Eights, along with Torpids, the two intercollegiate bumps races of Oxford University, held on the Isis in Oxford.
- The Boat Race is a rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club. It is rowed annually each Spring on the Thames in London.
- The Croco's Cup, international rowing regatta at University level held every year in Paris since 1985, organised by students of ENSTA (Paristech).
- The City of Exeter Rowing Regatta, the oldest rowing regatta in the South West, is held annually in Exeter in July.
- The Welsh Boat Race is a rowing race between the Swansea University Rowing Club and the Cardiff University Boat Club. It is rowed annually each Spring on the Taff River or the Tawe River in South Wales.
- Vienna Nightrow is an international sprint rowing regatta for coxed eights in Austria at night.
- Aegean Rally, Aegean Sea, Greece
- America's Cup, hosted by prior winner
- Auckland Anniversary Regatta held annually on the Waitemata Harbour to celebrate Auckland Anniversary Day
- Balmain Regatta held annually on Sydney Harbour, Australia
- Bass Week, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria
- Bay Week, Put-in-Bay, Ohio
- Block Island Race Week, Rhode Island
- Canada's Cup, held periodically on the Great Lakes.
- Canadian Olympic-training Regatta, Kingston (CORK) held annually in August in Kingston, Ontario Canada.
- Carriacou Regatta Festival, Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada. W.I. - First weekend in August each year.
- CASON Grand Prize Solo Regatta, Lake Balaton, Hungary, held annually in September.
- Charleston Race Week, Charleston, South Carolina, held each April for three days, with races staged both in Charleston Harbor and offshore.
- Chicago to Mackinac Boat Race, held annually in July, starting in Chicago on Lake Michigan and ending at Mackinac Island on Lake Huron.
- Columbus Day Regatta, Miami, Florida, annually in October.
- Cork Week, Cork, Ireland. Hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club bi-annually.
- Cowes Week, Royal Yacht Squadron, England
- Færderseilasen, Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS), from Oslo to Horten via Færder lighthouse.
- Figawi Race, Hyannis, Massachusetts
- Fowey Royal Regatta, Fowey Cornwall annually in August 
- Hangon Regatta, an annual event in the city of Hanko, Finland, infamous for attracting large groups of partying youths with a tangential interest in the sailing itself
- Kamer 2 Sailing Marathon, Kaag, Netherlands, annually in September
- Key West Race Week, Key West, Florida
- Kiel Week, Kiel/Germany - the largest sailing event in the world
- Lake Ontario 300, Port Credit, Ontario - the longest fresh-water sailboat race in the world, held annually in July
- Larchmont Race Week, Larchmont Yacht Club, New York
- Lighthouse Regatta, Lake Hefner hosted by the Oklahoma City Boat Club
- Long Beach Race Week, Long Beach, California
- Louis Vuitton Trophy, a world series of regattas, multiple locations
- Lysekil Women's Match, Lysekil, Sweden, annually in August
- Mardi Gras Race Week, New Orleans Yacht Club, large One Design regatta held on Lake Pontchartrain
- Monsoon regatta Monsoon Regatta India
- Mrduja Regatta, an annual regatta held in the city of Split, Croatia
- National Offshore One Design (NOOD)
- New World Regatta, held every year between the ports of Koper, Slovenia and Baltimore, Maryland.
- Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race, Mighigan
- Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held annually at the end of August over three days on the River Dart.
- Race to the Coast, Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, Louisiana to Gulfport, Mississippi
- Regatta Vava'u held annually in Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga in September
- Round Texel, Texel, Netherlands, annually in June
- Sail Melbourne, Held annually on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay
- Sawadee.com Regatta Samui, Thailand, http://www.samuiregatta.com Annually on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand in June
- Sint Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta, Sint Maarten, held last weekend of March
- Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta, Sint Maarten, annually in March
- Sugar Bowl Regatta, New Orleans Yacht Club, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Tall Ships Race
- Tjörn Runt, Tjörn, Sweden, annually in August
- Vintage Yachting Games, each time in another country first in 2008, Medemblik, The Netherlands since then every four years. 2012 Lake Como Italy
- Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Saint-Tropez, France, annually in October
- Washington's Birthday Regatta, at the Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove, Florida, annually in February
- West Highland Yachting Week, Oban, W Coast Scotland
- Whale of a Sail, Carlyle Sailing Association, Carlyle, IL
- Whiskeytown Regatta, Whiskeytown Lake—Redding, CA
- Youngstown Levels, Youngstown, New York
- Chichester Biarritz Challenge, Chichester, England, to Biarritz, France, annually in April.
- Mallory Cup, United States high school sailing national championships.
- Nixor College, the first college in Pakistan to launch a 'RAFT' regatta for team building.
- Royal College Colombo, Oldest Regatta in Sri Lanka. (Royal-Thomian)
- Sywoc, the Student Yachting World Cup organized by the students of the École Polytechnique.
- The Brentwood Regatta is held in the spring and is one of the largest high school rowing regattas on the west coast of North America.
- The NSSA National Youth Regatta is the largest dinghy sailing regatta and the largest youth sailing regatta in the UK. Due to its size the NYR visits a new location each year alternating between coastal and inland venues. Previous years venues include Bridlington (North Yorkshire), Datchet Sailing Club (West London) Plymouth (Devon), Redcar (North
University / college sailing regattas
- Charleston Open, College of Charleston
- Fisher Hall Regatta, University of Notre Dame
- Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Championships, various locations
- Kennedy Cup, US Naval Academy
- The Roth Regatta, Roth Pond, State University of New York at Stony Brook
- The Regent Regatta, Regent Pond, Regent University
- The CoEP Regatta, Mula River, College of Engineering, Pune - Held annually in March (since 1928), one of the oldest and most celebrated regattas in India
- Stuart Sailfish Regatta, Stuart, FL. Boat classes; Jersey Skiffs, Inboard and outboard Hydroplanes, Grand Prix Series)Stuart Sailfish Regatta
- Beer Can Regatta, boats made from aluminium cans in Darwin, NT, Australia.
- Madison Regatta, Madison, Indiana. (hydroplanes)
- Kingston Multi-Hull Regatta, Kingston, Ontario (multihull sailboats and sailing hydrofoils)
- Henley-on-Todd Regatta - an Australian dry-land event.
- Royal Hobart Regatta - a multiple event 3 day Reggatta in Tasmania, Australia.
- Sy Barash Regatta - discontinued event at Penn State
- Worrell 1000, between South Beach and Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, Toronto, Ontario
- Drina Regatta is the most visited tourist and recreation manifestation and the central event in the Western Serbia
- For the Cruise Ship Regatta see Oceania Cruises
- The 826LA Paddle Boat Regatta, Los Angeles, CA (paddle boats)
- Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Giant Pumpkin Boat Regatta, Damariscotta, Maine, held during Columbus Day weekend (paddle boats and motorized divisions)
- Pumpkinfest Giant Pumpkin Boat Regatta, New Bremen, Ohio, held during Pumpkinfest
- West Channel Yacht Club Reggatta, Eastlake, Ohio, www.west-channel.com
- Rowing at the Summer Olympics and Sailing at the Summer Olympics, often collectively referred to as the Olympic Regatta.
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