We started out in February last year with a mostly new committee, co-opted at the AGM, where Malcolm Palin and Ken Jones, the Chairman and Vice-Chair, resigned from the committee after many years of service. Our returning Secretary, Kerry Pearce, stepped up and kindly ran the first few meetings. After some coercing, she brought back Ken, as Chairman for a transition year, and new committee member Ash Waller as Chair “in training”.

We quickly proposed that we wanted to bring Regatta back down to town, and that it was to include more free community events, like the Regattas we remembered. This was a hard sell to some members, who had been through tough years with Covid etc. and had struggled to maintain the reserve funds required to support the event, but we felt it was important that the Regatta was for the people of Fowey, not just a financial, tourism event.

With our Committee boosted by new members bringing new talents and ideas, we pushed ahead and tried to balance tradition with progress. We hope that we have achieved our aims, and we thank everyone who contributed with their time, money, and enthusiasm. We must continue to build on this, and to recruit more Patrons and volunteers to enable the events to happen, despite the spiralling costs of security, medical cover and insurances.

As we move forward to this year’s Regatta we have had some more changes to the Committee; Chairman Ken, and Treasurer, Lesley Jones, are retiring after 25 years of service, and our rules, regulations and paperwork expert, Neil Hartwell, has also stood down.  We also lost Ash Jones.  Our thanks go to them for all they have done for Fowey Royal Regatta, and I am pleased to hear that they all remain available for help and guidance. 

Caroline Hoddinott, who started last year saying “I’m here as a volunteer, not to be a committee member” has courageously taken over the role of Treasurer. We would like to thank her for taking on this role, one for which she has both the patience, and prior experience. 

As Kerry now takes on Neil’s preparations and paperwork; with Council permissions for events and road closures, Insurance and “Blue Light” liaison, her fellow Secretary, and sister, Zoe Britton, will continue in the Secretary’s role. 

During our AGM in February, we gladly welcomed some new committee members, Dellen Boothby, Abbey Stevens, Diane Cooper, Jamie Gitsham and Andrew McNamara.  They have already got stuck in with a proactive approach and some great new ideas.

2024 so far

We have already made a lot of plans for 2024, and booked the majority of our entertainment.

The Regatta Service in the church on Sunday will kick the week off, with afternoon entertainment on the Town Quay, however no firm booking has been made as of yet.

Monday there will be the usual Crab Catching Competition, music and children’s entertainment on the Town Quay in the daytime.  The Crowning will take place at Place House again, followed by the Flora Dance and the Tregony Teachers, an innovative trio based in Cornwall, playing popular covers.

Tuesday will see music and children’s entertainment on the Town Quay in the daytime, followed by races on the water.  In the evening we have planned a new Comedy Night in the church, which will be an adult only ticketed event, with Johnny Cowling at the top of the bill.  

Wednesday will start with the traders carnival, and the theme has been confirmed as ‘Children’s Books’.  There will be music on the Town Quay in the daytime and of course the Grand Carnival will take place as usual starting at Squires Field.  Music has been confirmed on the Town Quay, brought to you from Pitch Black, a lively trio of Vocals, Piano and Drums performing an eclectic mix of hits with a twist.

Thursday will see the return of Pirate and Pasty day, to include the Pasty Eating Competition, Biscuit decorating and other entertainment on the Town Quay.  The Car Show will now take place on Thursday and Evening entertainment will also return to the Town Quay, however details of performers have not yet been confirmed. 

On Friday the Fun Run will return, along with events at Ready Money Beach in the daytime.  Evening entertainment has been confirmed for the ticketed event at Fowey River Academy, with the doors opening at 5pm.  We are pleased to announce we have booked the Ritzy Belles, followed by Company B, after their cancellation last year. 

Saturday we have children’s entertainment booked again at the school which will be free to attend between 12pm and 5pm.  Traders will also be invited between these times.  Evening entertainment has been booked which will be a ticketed event, with Strange Almond, an 80’s synth pop duo, kicking off the evening, followed by Thunderlipz the ultimate 80’s rock experience. 

As usual we are looking for volunteers to help with events, so if you can spare a couple of hours, please contact us at help@foweyregatta.co.uk.

Patrons 

As always, we must arrange and pay for insurances, licences, road closures, safety, security, and equipment hire, as well as big-ticket items like the firework displays and live entertainment. Many of these costs have increased this year, some considerably.  Your support not only makes Regatta possible, but also keeps events largely free of charge – an important tradition in the face of so many families struggling with the rising cost of living.

Unfortunately, ticket sales alone cannot cover our costs, so we heavily rely on the the support of our patrons, with donations equating to 42% of our income.  If you are interested in becoming a Patron, please contact us at patrons@foweyregatta.co.uk

Thanks

The Regatta Committee