Portsmouth Regatta returns to the sporting calendar this weekend
The Portsmouth Regatta is returning to the south coast’s sporting calendar this weekend.
After becoming a casualty of the pandemic in 2020, the Regatta is back with a series of races taking place in the eastern Solent region on Saturday and Sunday.
The event has a long history - as far back as the 1830s it was already well established with competitors including yachtsmen, the Navy and even local fishermen.
There was always a strong link with the Portsmouth-based Royal Albert Yacht Club following the latter’s formation in 1864.
Two years later, the spinnaker sail was used for the first time, winning the Royal Albert Cup for the 47-ton cutter yacht Sphinx - after which the sail is said to have been named.
The regatta survived the Russian Flu pandemic of the 1880s and the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century, but fell victim to World War II with the Royal Albert Cup last held in 1950.
In 2014 the Regatta was revived jointly by the Royal Albert Yacht Club - celebrating its 150th anniversary - the Victory Class club, who were celebrating their 80th anniversary, and the Portsmouth Sailing Club.
The 2021 Regatta will be the first in the SIRCOA 2021 series and the Tempest Class will use it for their Southern Championship and Euro Cup.
A full programme of IRC and Club Class racing will be divided into Black and White fleets with prize giving at the Gosport-based Hornet Sailing Club on Sunday afternoon.
Regatta chairman Miles Linington said: ‘I am grateful to the many people who have worked to make this event happen.
‘The news that we are going ahead has been very warmly received.
‘We expect numbers to be down because people just have not had access to their boats to prepare them.
‘The quality of entrants is outstanding, however, and we will enjoy some extremely exciting
‘Above all, we are back in business and look forward to continuing growth in the years to come, building on past and present traditions.’