The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited in 1860 and offered £100 to the winner. Times improved in the late 19th century, and in 1901 a crew from Outer Cove set a record time, 9:13.75, that was not broken until 1981 (the crew has been elected to the CANADA SPORTS HALL OF FAME). The current record, 8:51.32, was set in 2007.
After a suspension during World War I, the regatta resumed in 1919 and has continued since then. A lively carnival is held during the regatta, often overshadowing the rowing. Regatta Day is a statutory holiday for the city of ST JOHN’S under provincial legislation and the first Wednesday of August is set aside for it. The regatta’s organizing committee has the authority to determine if conditions are right for the races. If inclement weather prevents it from being held on the Wednesday, the races are postponed to the following day. In 1993 it received its title as the “Royal St John’s Regatta.”
Author JAMES MARSH
Links to Other Sites
Royal St John's Regatta
An interactive website devoted to the history of the Royal St John's Regatta. From Library and Archives Canada.
Customs: Newfoundland and Labrador
Scroll down the page to see a brief overview of tradtional practices and holidays celebrated throughout the year by residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. From the website Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage.