Overview of Races and Events

Dartmouth Royal Regatta Sailing Week is the UK’s largest sailing regatta after Cowes Week appealing to the serious racing enthusiast, but also offering family friendly events for the novice or cruising yachtsman.

Our 2024 plans are set out below, but please check back for the latest information. Note that as the August Bank Holiday falls at the beginning of Regatta Week this year, the Passage Race (Tuesday), Yacht Series (Wednesday-Saturday) and White Sail and Gaffer Events (Friday-Saturday) have moved forward by a day compared with their more traditional dates, and a Charity Event is being planned for the final Sunday.  Please click here for information on how to enter, and for more detailed information on the formal racing, please click here for Notices of Race.

Rockfish Junior Dinghy Series | Moore Kingston Smith Dinghy Series  |  Savills Passage Race | Yacht & Dayboat Series | White Sail Event | Gaffer Event | Charity Event

Rockfish Junior Dinghy Series at RDYC –  Saturday 24th-Monday 26th August 

Junior Dinghies will race from Dartmouth/ Kingswear with a range of river courses. The Junior Series will run over 3 days, with 3 races scheduled per day. One-design classes expected for Toppers, Fevas and Teras, and a PY handicap class for other junior boats. Offering great fun and an excellent introduction to dinghy racing for under 16’s, with training available for those new to racing.  Series prizegiving on Monday afternoon after racing.

Moore Kingston Smith Dinghy Series at Dittisham SC – Saturday 24th-Tuesday 27th August 

Open to all ages and welcoming family crews and more experienced youngsters ready to move on to adult-level competition.  With 2 races a day planned, there will be challenging racing set in this stunning location. Handicap racing and fleet racing expected for Lasers and Solos, plus others subject to entries.

 Savills Passage Race – Tuesday 27th August 

Tuesday afternoon sees the start of the formal yacht racing, with the Brixham to Dartmouth Passage Race sponsored by Savills. This race traditionally attracts boats moving on from the previous weekend’s Royal Torbay Regatta as well as many boats which head round from Dartmouth in the morning. Classes expected for IRC, Cruisers and Cruiser non-spinnaker. The course will be set to take best advantage of the weather conditions, to provide an exhilarating race along this dramatic stretch of coast, with Berry Head and Froward Point providing excellent viewing opportunities.

 Yacht & Dayboat Series – Wednesday 28th-Saturday 31st August 

Superb yacht racing is on two or three courses in Start Bay, over four days.  This year the Series will include the J/109 National Championship.  There will be a range of handicap classes for IRC, Cruisers and Dayboats, and class racing for Squibs, J/24s and other classes subject to entries.  There are usually at least two races per day, but three races per day for the J/109s and faster IRC classes only.

Less experienced crews and those wanting to participate “just for fun” in boats designed principally for cruising may prefer the lively competition but perhaps slightly less intense atmosphere of the Cruiser class, which will use the RYA Yacht Time Correction handicap system (previously known as the SW YTC). There is no charge for obtaining a RYA YTC number, please see rorcrating.com/ryaytc/ for more information, or to renew for 2024. Please note that for course setting reasons, entries are open to boats having a YTC not exceeding 1110. A non-spinnaker option will be available for Cruiser yachts, perhaps suiting those who prefer to sail with family-only crews, or unable to muster the full crew numbers. 

Top quality Race Management run series of excellent races in Start Bay.  The smaller and slower boats will compete close to the river mouth, while the faster boats will make the most of the fantastic sailing grounds of Start Bay. One day (Thursday, Friday or Saturday depending on the weather) there will be a longer coastal race.  These spectacular boats with their colourful spinnakers provide a dramatic sight for spectators on the whole coast from Little Dartmouth to Blackpool Sands.  After their successful introduction last year, we will be extending use of robotic marks to both the Middle and Outer Courses this year.

A mobile App is used for competitors to submit hearing requests (protests) or results enquiries (click here for details).  Each daily prizegiving is on the same day as its races, and there is of course the Series Prize Giving on Saturday evening. 

Within the Series, there will be a Club Team competition for the “Dart Team Trophy”  – teams are invited to represent their home or visiting club (with joint Club teams for those clubs with less than 3 entrants).  A chance to get together with other competitors to add a little extra pizzazz to the racing!

White Sail Event –  Friday 30th-Saturday 31st August

For yachts not wishing to race formally, the White Sail Event offers 2 days of fun competition. Open to all sailing yachts – you don’t specifically need white sails, but spinnakers and specialist downwind sails are not allowed.  We look forward to welcoming many family crews.

On each day, the boats will use their passage planning skills to decide the best setting off time within a 1 hour window, and sail a fixed course in Start Bay, noting their own times. This format provides keen competition without the pressures of a formal start line or round-the-cans racing. The courses will be announced nearer the time to take best advantage of the weather and avoid the main race fleets. The Gaffers will be following the same course but with a separate start time and separate prizes.  Competitors are encouraged to apply for a RYA YTC handicap (see rorcrating.com/ryaytc/), but boats without a certificate will be allocated a rating according the best estimate of the Chairman in the spirit of the event.

Click here for more details of the White Sail Event. 

Gaffers Event –  Friday 30th-Saturday 31st August

Our Gaffer Event is designed for sailors of Gaff Rigged boats who want to enjoy the pleasures of Start Bay during Regatta, and the challenge of competition against similar boats, but without the hurly burly of racing among the faster yachts. Come and enjoy a friendly and competitive couple of days sailing away from the main race fleets!

On both days, boats will set off within a short time window and sail a fixed course in Start Bay, noting their own start and finish times. The courses will be announced nearer the time, depending on the weather, and boats will compete under their OGA T(H)CF handicap. White Sail yachts will be following the same course but with separate start window and separate prizes.

Click here for more details of the Gaffer Event.

Charity Event – Sunday 1st September

With the Bank Holiday falling at the beginning of Regatta Week, the main Yacht and Dayboat Series racing will finish on Saturday to allow visiting yachts to sail back to their home ports on Sunday.  We will be organising a Charity Event on Sunday 1st September (details TBA) and hope that many local boats and those able to stay the extra day will join in the fun.