The biennial international Classic Channel Regatta is back in Dartmouth from July 17 to 20.

The first four days are a long regatta for classic yachts then races to Guernsey and on to Paimpol in Brittany.

This year will see over 75 classic yachts from Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland gathering in Dartmouth for two days of racing in Start Bay.

This racing called ‘Dartmouth Classics’, will be followed by the start of the ‘Classic Channel Race’ in Start Bay on July 20.

The race will take the yachts to St Peter Port in Guernsey for a one-day break there before racing on to Paimpol where the regatta will end on July 25.

Kelpie off Dartmouth Embankment
Kelpie off Dartmouth Embankment (Classic Channel Regatta)

The regatta is organising an afternoon of fun watersports in the river off Dartmouth Yacht Club on Wednesday 17 starting at 2pm.

All are welcome to join in the fun either as spectators or participants.

A Parade of Sail of all the fleet will take place in the river Dart on the morning of Thursday July 18 at approximately 10.30am before they go out into Start Bay for the first day of racing.

The Parade will start near the Higher Ferry passing close to the Dartmouth side of the river and then past the Lower Ferry and all the way out past the castles.

A strolling jazz band will entertain around the embankment from about 4pm.

The following day will see the second day of racing off Dartmouth with the ‘Salcombe Gin Start Bay Race’ taking a longer course around the bay and, winds permitting, may also include a course up the coast to Torbay.

In the evening there will be a prize giving at the Royal Dart Yacht Club for these Dartmouth Classics Races.

Saturday 20 will see the start of the first stage of the Classic Channel Race to St Peter Port.

It will begin from Start Bay in the afternoon.

It will be an overnight race with the boats arriving in Guernsey the following day where there will be an evening reception in the grounds of Castle Cornet overlooking St Peter Port harbour.

The following morning of the 22 will see the fleet start the second stage of the Classic Channel Race to Paimpol.

The fleet will arrive off Paimpol in the early evening that day and will form a Parade of Sail along the entrance channel and through the lock into the port.

Paimpol is a delightful port almost due south of Dartmouth, right in the centre of town surrounded by quayside cafés and restaurants.

The last race is around the Île de Bréhat off Paimpol, followed by a picnic while moored off the island, and then ‘La Danse des Classiques’ where the boats sail around a circular course off Paimpol with the boats and crews decked out in fancy dress.

The day finishes with a Parade of Sail back into Paimpol harbour.

Fanny Chappé-Mayor of de Paimpol
Fanny Chappé-Mayor of Paimpol (Classic Channel Regatta)

The mayor of Paimpol has sent this message of friendship to Dartmouth:

“The bonds of fraternity between our two communities, English and Breton, are strong and historic. Our shared history, our cultural exchanges and emblematic events such as the Classic Channel Regatta serve to only strengthen this precious relationship.”

Fanny Chappé-Maire de Paimpol

Bruce Thorogood created the regatta back in 2005 and is still its chair and lead organiser.

He said: “The Classic Channel Regatta has built up an enviable reputation for being a highly enjoyable and well run regatta.

“One French competitor called it “La Plus Belle Régate du Monde.”