Wednesday 1 August 2012

Royal St. John's Regatta, NL

Gord and I arrived in St. John's this morning.  We checked into our hotel, had lunch and then headed to Quidi Vidi to check out the Royal St. John's Regatta.

The Royal St. John's Regatta is North America's oldest annual sporting event with documented proof of 1816 boat races. There is credible contention that St. John's regattas were held even earlier than 1816, likely in the 18th century. Held on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Regatta is scheduled for the first Wednesday of August. If weather isn't suitable, and wind conditions are very important, the event is postponed until the next suitable day. Since Regatta Day is a civic holiday in St. John's, this means that the weather actually determines whether or not workers have the day off.

Crews row six-member, coxswained, fixed-seat racing shells that are as identical as possible and are the property of the Royal St. John's Regatta Committee. Men's crews row a 2.450 km course, women's crews row a 1.225 km course, and all crews are required to turn buoys and return to the start-finish line. 

We figured it would be a small event (we noticed a lot of places were closed but didn't know it was a civic holiday) ... but it was jammed!

We sat looking at the start/finish line for a while.

Then we walked around so we were looking onto the race.

We walked around to the other side of the lake.

We spent some time in the beer gardens.  It was the craziest beer garden I've ever been in!  It was packed.

There was a band playing ... they played mostly traditional Newfoundland tunes and were good.

Here are Gord and I.

There was a lot of beer and coolers drank by the crowd.

It was my first regatta and a fun time!

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