The Isle of Whithorn Maritime History

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An old photograph of the Isle of Whithorn Harbour
The Isle of Whithorn

The Isle of Whithorn

The Regattas

Regattas have been a feature of the Isle of Whithorn for many years and probably date from the late 19th century. Some of the early regatta programmes with lists of the vessels taking part and the officials involved can be seen on the walls of the Steam Packet Inn. These were large events with big prize money - 10 guineas (£10.50) was not unusual. Some boats that took part in the rowing races were hauled out of the water to have a keel fitted before sailing them in the sailing races!

The oldest known-picture of these regattas is one which shows the local worthies and their wives, all in their best suits and crinolines, gathering outside the gamekeeper’s cottage before coming down to the harbour. In 1931 there was a tragedy when two competitors lost their lives (for details see the section dealing with Disasters) and as a result there were no further regattas before the outbreak of World War Two. They were resumed in 1945, and since then they have been held every year, going from strength to strength, and now lasting over two days.


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