Everything you need to know about the 181st Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair
PUBLISHED: 19:36 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 19 June 2019
Woodbridge has always been a riverside community and there's nothing the townsfolk like more than messing about in boats and enjoying good food and drink on the banks of the Deben - and indulging in the odd silly game or two.
It's something of a town tradition and just to prove the point this year's Woodbridge Regatta & Riverside Fair has announced that this year it is 181 years old. Just as in times past, all the fun takes place all along the river from The Tide Mill to the Deben Yacht Club. This year's event is on Sunday June 23 and form part of the Suffolk Day celebrations.
The Regatta throws open its doors at noon with Songs of Praise led by Churches Together on the Tea Hut stage followed by the formal opening at 12:30pm by the town mayor. The traditional conclusion of the Regatta is a Duck Dive at 5:15pm in the Model Yacht Pond organised by Woodbridge & District Lions Club.
There is something for everyone to enjoy beside the River Deben: including watching yacht and dinghy races, the Raft Race with eight teams vying for the prize of an inscribed paddle and bragging rights over other youth groups.
New this year will be the St Ayles Skiff built in the Longshed and now on the river as well as the Woodbridge Memory Bike offering rickshaw rides. The Tide Mill will be offering free admission and people can take advantage of free boat trips up and down the river throughout the day organised by 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts.
As well as lots of places to eat and drink families can head to the Bandstand for crafts, games and other activities with a Circus theme this year as well as registration for the crabbing competition held later in the afternoon. People can bring their model yachts to sail on the Model Yacht Pond or even hire one on the day from the Tea Hut. Live music will fill the air at The Tea Hut and The Woodbridge Cruising Club.
In the run-up to the Regatta there will be a Spot the Duck competition in shops in and around the Thoroughfare. This year the competition will have a circus theme to match the activities on Regatta Day. Although it's free to enjoy the Regatta, the event will be supporting 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts though a street collection.
Geoff Holdcroft, chairman of the Regatta Committee, says: "The programme for this year has been developed to ensure it has all of the usual activities but it is great to see the return of the swimming races to the event. The success and longevity of Woodbridge Regatta is a testament to so many community groups working together. I want to thank everyone involved for helping us to put on what we hope will be another fabulous event."
The Woodbridge Regatta Swimming Gala will take place on Saturday June 22, at Deben Leisure Centre on the afternoon before Regatta Day.
Competitors in the event will be racing for The Hayward and Sullivan Cups for Boys and Girls Under 16, respectively, living within 3 miles of Woodbridge as well as The Regatta Shield and Cup for Boys and Girls Under 16, living outside the town boundaries. There are also cups for boys and girls under 12 and under 8. All races are open to all.
All the latest information can be found online at www.woodbridgeregatta.com as well as www.facebook.com/WoodbridgeRegatta