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 either held for either 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 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.
The etymology of the word "regatta" is debated: some maintain it is derived from the Italian "riga", line, for the starting line; some say it comes from the Latin "aurigare" which means to race; others consider it derived from the Latin "remus", oar.
- Henley Royal Regatta, held every year on the river Thames is one of several prestigious British events
- Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, in the first week of August is one of the largest annual regatta's in North America, attracting hundreds of clubs in 128 junior, senior, and master's events.
- Lent and May Bumps, the two main intercollegiate bumps races of the University of Cambridge, held on the Cam.
- Summer Eights, along with Torpids, the two intercollegiate bumps races of Oxford University, held on the Isis in Oxford.
- Royal St. John's Regatta, held every year on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland, North America's oldest annual sporting events.
- 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 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.
- Regattas on the River Thames lists all Thames rowing regattas and other rowing events
- The City of Exeter Rowing Regatta, the oldest rowing regatta in the South West, is held annually in Exeter in July.
- Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held annually at the end of August on the River Dart.
- 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
- Marathon Rowing Championship a continuous 42.195km rowing regatta on Cane River Lake in Natchitoches, Louisiana
- Maltese regatta
- The Croco's Cup, international rowing regatta at University level held every year in Paris since 1985, organised by students of ENSTA (Paristech).
- Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) Venice, Italy
- Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare (Regatta of the Historical Marine Republics) Italy
- COEP Regatta held annually at the College of Engineering Pune in India
- Balaton Regatta, held every year on the Lake Balaton between the teams of Veszprém Campus and Keszthely Campus of University of Pannonia
- 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.
- Columbus Day Regatta, Miami, Florida, annually in October.
- 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.
- Cork Week, Cork, Ireland. Hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club bi-annually.
- Cowes Week, Royal Yacht Squadron, England
- Lighthouse Regatta, Lake Hefner hosted by the Oklahoma City Boat Club
- Færderseilasen, Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS), from Oslo to Horten via Færder lighthouse.
- Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, held annually at the end of August over three days on the River Dart.
- Fowey Royal Regatta, Fowey Cornwall annually in August http://www.foweyroyalregatta.co.uk/index.htm
- 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
- Long Beach Race Week, Long Beach, California
- Louis Vuitton Trophy, a world series of regattas, multiple locations
- Mardi Gras Race Week - New Orleans Yacht Club, large One Design regatta held on Lake Pontchartrain
- 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
- Round Texel, Texel, Netherlands, annually in June
- Sail Melbourne, Held annually on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay
- Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta, Sint Maarten, annually in March
- Sawadee.com Regatta Samui, Thailand, http://www.samuiregatta.com Annually on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand in June
- Tall Ships Race
- Lysekil Women's Match, Lysekil, Sweden, annually in August
- Tjörn Runt, Tjörn, Sweden, annually in August
- Washington's Birthday Regatta, at the Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove, Florida, annually in February
- Vintage Yachting Games, each time in another country first in 2008, Medemblik, The Netherlands since then every four years. 2012 Lake Como Italy
- West Highland Yachting Week, Oban, W Coast Scotland
- Whale of a Sail, Carlyle Sailing Association, Carlyle, IL
- Youngstown Levels, Youngstown, New York
- Figawi Race, Hyannis, Massachusetts
- Monsoon regatta Monsoon Regatta India
- Regatta Vava'u held annually in Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga in September
- Whiskeytown Regatta, Whiskeytown Lake—Redding, CA
- Carriacou Regatta Festival, Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada. W.I. - First weekend in August each year.
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
- 1851 - America's Cup, usually competed for in the country of the current defender/holder
- 1851 - Port Esperance Regatta, Australia
- 1886 - Torbay Royal Regatta, Torbay, UK
University / college sailing regattas
- 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 East England), Deal (Kent), Grafham Water (Cambridgeshire), Weymouth (Dorset) to name just a few.
- Mallory Cup, United States high school sailing national championships.
- 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.
- Royal College Colombo, Oldest Regatta in Sri Lanka. (Royal-Thomian)
- Sywoc, the Student Yachting World Cup organized by the students of the École Polytechnique.
- Nixor College, the first college in Pakistan to launch a 'RAFT' regatta for team building.
- Beer Can Regatta, boats made from aluminium cans in Darwin, NT, Australia.
- The 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
- 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
- The Kinhaven Music School Regatta - a hand-paddled regatta at a summer classical chamber music festival for high school-age students. The teenagers, divided into teams according to their instruments (and any alliances they might form), build their own vessels by hand out of four provided planks of wood and four or five empty large, multi-gallon milk bags (commonly known as cows by students) using a supply of nails, duct tape, inexpensive handsaws, and hammers. After painting and otherwise decorating their boats and rafts, a large variety of pre-regatta rituals take place. The race follows, with the following heats: 1 person, sitting on the boat, propelling themselves with a paddle made from large branches (found in the bucolic surrounding forests) with square or rectangular pieces of wood nailed to the end, is required to paddle from one end of the pond to the other, and then back. Then, the two person heat: one paddling, one holding on from behind and kicking like mad in the frigid waters of Wally Wampus Pond. The three person heat usually has one paddler and two kickers, but sometimes there are three kickers and no paddler. The all-man heat is perhaps the most entertaining to watch. As many team members as are willing are asked to participate, and usually they all chose to kick. This heat often gets a tad rowdy; with so many people in the water it's not uncommon for people to accidentally get wedged between two vessels, causing a stalemate that can only be ended by one breaking free of the other, often by grabbing onto the other boat and trying to claw themselves forward. The overall winner is determined by the team that won the most heats, or in case of a tie, by the best compound time of all the races. Afterwards, the boats are stripped of tape and cows and carried down to a low meadow where all the regatta vessels will be set alight in a glorious bonfire on the last night of camp.