THE PORTSCATHO REGATTA 2023 TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY 26 AUGUST 2023 ON THE ROSELAND PENINSULA. AT ALMOST 150 YEARS OLD, WELCOME TO ONE OF THE BEST REGATTAS IN CORNWALL, NOT TO MENTION ONE OF THE OLDEST…
Every summer, Cornwall is awash with regattas. Some are big. Some are small. Some attract thousands of people over an entire weekend. Some are a far more intimate affair. But only a handful of them get Proper Cornwall‘s ‘one of the best regattas in Cornwall’ seal of approval. The Portscatho Regatta 2023, which takes place on Saturday 26 August 2023, is one of that handful. Why? Let us tell you…
The idyllic village of Portscatho sits on the Roseland Peninsula about seven miles south of Truro and across the estuary from Falmouth. Frankly, the whole peninsula is idyllic but there’s something serene, beautiful, intimate and yet so welcoming about Portscatho. That’s the first reason. The setting to this regatta, not to mention the stunning scenery of sea, shore and cliffs, is as perfect as you can get.
Secondly, the racing itself during the regatta is so easy to see and follow from pretty much any vantage point around the village and its nearby shores. The sailing during this epic one-day regatta takes place across an ‘exciting and highly visible course’ out in the splendid Gerrans Bay and all sorts of vessels take part, from whopping 18-foot yachts to dinghies, working boats and windsurfers. There’s a traditional feel to the regatta but plenty of energy despite the tranquil setting all around.
Thirdly, there’s a ton to do during the regatta without it all feeling forced or overwhelming. Obviously, there’s that full sailing programme and a grand passage race from the River Fal during the event but there’s also a fair whack of other events and entertainment to enjoy as well. Shore-based activities include all sorts of races for all ages on nearby Tatam’s Beach.
Protip: the regatta takes place on the Saturday but it actually sort of starts a day before. Expect a sandcastle competition on Tatam’s on Friday 25 August 2023 at a time ‘determined by the tide’. Live music between 7pm and 9pm will also take place on the Friday.
Fourthly, aside from that great live music that’s on the menu during the regatta, there’s a load of food and craft stalls, games, teas, refreshments, and a barbecue along The Lugger, a famous village street that faces right out to the ocean.
There’s usually a theme to it all too. In 2022, it was the ’70s. In 2023, it’s ‘pirates and shipwrecks’. Again, it’s all relaxed, it’s welcoming to all and there’s pretty much everything you need for a fine afternoon of looking out to the big blue from the comfort of the seaside.
Lastly, this regatta is one of our faves because of its history. This is a self-financing community event that’s organised by the villagers themselves and it has been held annually since 1874. That’s right. This regatta has been going for almost 150 years. It’s free to enjoy (save the reasonably priced burgers on that barbecue…) and leaves you pleased as punch that not only have you had a great day in a beautiful corner of Cornwall but that you’ve also witnessed a little slice of Cornish history out there on the ocean waves.