Royal Hobart Regatta

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Royal Hobart Regatta
Also called 'The Regatta'
Observed by Southern Tasmania
Type Southern public holiday
Significance Australia's Largest Aquatic Event
Celebrations maritime regatta, racing, competitions, military displays
Date three days, ending on the second Monday in February
2016 date 6–8 February
2017 date 11–13 February
2018 date 10–12 February
2019 date 9–11 February
Frequency annual

The Royal Hobart Regatta began in 1838,[1] is a series of aquatic competitions and displays held annually in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and is Tasmania's oldest sporting event. The regatta runs for three days, ending on the second Monday in February, and dominates the whole river for the duration of the event.[2]

On 1 December 1838, the first Hobart Town Anniversary Regatta was held in Hobart, Tasmania to celebrate the Tasmanian Anniversary of the 17th-century European discovery of the island by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642.[3] It was decided that the annual anniversary regatta should be celebrated by the wearing of a sprig of silver wattle blossom tied with British Navy blue ribbon.[4] It was begun by the then Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin. Franklin provided free food and beer for all of the spectators, and the tradition of free entry continues to this day. The Monday was declared as a public holiday by the governor, and is now the oldest public holiday still continuing in Australia.

The regatta is held in grounds known as the "Regatta Ground" at the Queens Domain along the western side of the River Derwent. The grounds are now dominated by the Hobart Cenotaph, a war memorial to Tasmania's war dead.

It is normally well attended by public and competitors and is usually well supported by the Royal Australian Navy, which sends a warship to be a flagship for the regatta, and sometimes the Royal Australian Air Force, who provide fly-pasts with military aircraft. Often the RAAF Roulettes will do aerobatic performances. The Australian Army's elite Red Beret parachute regiment provides sky diving displays.

The events includes sailing, rowing, open water swimming, wood chopping, jet ski racing, dragon boat racing, a tug of war and a trans-Derwent swim across the 1.6 km width of the river. There is also a Miss Regatta girl competition, and the Regatta always has an official attendance ceremony by the Governor.

In 2013, the Regatta celebrated 175 years of the event.[5]


  1. ^ "Royal Hobart Regatta:175 years". LINC Tasmania. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Hobart Regatta, Royal (2016). "Royal Hobart Regatta, Hobart, Tasmania". Royal Hobart Regatta. 
  3. ^ "THE REGATTA.". The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch, And Agricultural And Commercial... (800). Tasmania, Australia. 7 December 1838. p. 4. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. ^ "Classified Advertising.". The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839). Tas.: National Library of Australia. 23 November 1838. p. 4. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "175th Royal Hobart Regatta underway on the River Derwent". Sail World. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 

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Coordinates: 42°52′50″S 147°19′30″E / 42.88056°S 147.32500°E / -42.88056; 147.32500