Inaugural four-day event to celebrate the Islands’ maritime history takes place this August Bank Holiday weekend


Scilly Isles’ Islands Regatta this weekend

Visitors to the Isles of Scilly this weekend will be treated to a four-day feast of sailing featuring classical and traditional working boats, and a festival of fun onshore.


Events on the water begin with a flotilla arrival on Friday 26 as the fleet of 25 boats arrives having sailed across from Falmouth. The fleet includes classic gaffs, ketches, luggers and sloops, and Ripple, a 120-year-old Cornish lugger, the Saint-Michel II, a replica of a pilot cutter owned by the writer Jules Verne, and the Grayhound Lugger, a replica 18th Century customs lugger, built using traditional materials and methods. There will also be more than 30 Redwing dinghies, staying in town to party after the 2016 Redwing Championships.


There is also a parade of sail and a round the island race, and the chance to take a tour of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland. Last and by no means least, the Royal Air Force display team the Red Arrows will delight visitors on Monday 29.


Ashore you’ll find live music, street performers, food and craft stalls, ale festivals at The Mermaid on St. Mary’s and the New Inn on Tresco, and a guided walk around Hugh Town by leading historic shipwreck expert Richard Larn OBE.


For kids there is a pirate cruise from St. Mary’s to St. Martin’s on Saturday afternoon, with storytelling and colourful characters, and an island treasure hunt and barbecue at Karma St. Martin’s Hotel. Shop for Theatre will pop up around the regatta with performances of poems, stories and theatre outdoors, in shops and on boats. And Scilly’s annual RNLI Water Carnival takes place on Sunday afternoon, with the ever-popular raft race, slippery pole antics and Dunk the Hunk, as well as the opportunity to look around the impressive Whiteheads lifeboat.


‘We introduced our inaugural Islands’ Regatta to keep the season going a little longer, and it has certainly worked,’ said David Jackson, Executive Director at the Islands’ Partnership. ‘We’ve had lots of interest from visitors staying over, daytrippers and classic boat participants. We’re all set for a busy weekend and a spectacular finale to the summer holidays.’


Anyone taking the ferry or flying to Scilly for the regatta can take advantage of a special 10% discount on travel, valid from 24 to 31 August. Quote MTM when making your booking with Isles of Scilly Travel.