What is the Classic Channel Regatta?

The Classic Channel Regatta is a leading international event in the classic sailing world:

It has competitors of several nationalities including English, French, Irish, Dutch, Belgian and German. It also visits 3 of the Channel’s most beautiful ports in England, France and the Channel Islands.

There are 80 or more classic boats taking part:

All built to pre-1975 designs. Most are original and built before 1975 with a few built more recently, but to classic designs. The oldest boat that we have had in the history of the Regatta was launched in 1886. There is a diverse range of boats of different rig, size and history, but their owners share the same passion to preserve and promote the heritage of classic yachting.

The Regatta includes a series of races:

  • The Dartmouth Classics weekend races in Start Bay
  • The Classic Channel Race, stage 1, from Dartmouth to Guernsey
  • The Classic Channel Race, stage 2, from Guernsey to Paimpol
  • The Round Île de Bréhat Race

There are also several informal parties, prizegivings and a picnic for the crews during the course of the week.

Prizes are awarded for each race and for a boat’s overall performance in the Regatta. Each boat has a handicap or ‘rating’ based on its measurements to try to provide each boat with an equal chance of winning. There is also a ‘Spirit of the Regatta’ Trophy awarded to the boat that has done most to embrace the Corinthian ethos of the regatta.

Spectator events:

There are numerous activities on the water and ashore of interest to spectators and crew-members. Classic boats in these sorts of numbers are a spectacular and beautiful sight.

  • A Parade of Sail in Dartmouth Harbour and the boats moored in port.
  • The racing in Start Bay can be seen from the shore south of Dartmouth.
  • Entry into the lock at Paimpol after the Channel Race, with music on the harbour wall
  • The popular “Danse des Classiques” is ideal for spectators – spectator boats “Vedette de Bréhat” sailing from Paimpol
  • Parade of Sail into Paimpol Harbour after the Danse des Classiques and the boats moored in port on Thursday and Saturday.
  • The regatta village in Paimpol with stalls and entertainment and the harbour celebrations
  • Sightseeing trips and sports events for the crews in and around Paimpol

The full programme of events can be seen here.