Regatta Events

The Appledore & Instow Regatta Events have evolved from local traditions and demonstrations of locals skills in and on the water with a healthy dose of fun added in.

The Regatta puts on a variety of events such as WEARA Rowing Competition, Instow Fun Day, Sailing Races, and group of core events enabling Competitors, Clubs and in some events the everyone to join in, such as the ever popular Greasy Pole!


World Championship Crabbing Contest - The Appledore & Instow Regatta would not be what it is without the ever popular World Championship Crabbing Contest. Even Celebrities get involved with Will Mellor and Rory McGrath for Channel 5 'RORY AND WILL CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD' (aired during Winter 2012/13) tryingt heir luck at the Appledore & Instow Regatta World Crabbing Competition. Of course Rory made functional use of his bucket, whilst Will shared some local purchases.

This event takes place on Appledore Quay Slipway opposite Johns of Appledore (The Post Office). Its a firm favourite with the Kids (and Rory & Will) as they seem to have more patients and luck than the grown-ups at catching Crabs with some catching over 300 crabs! So bring your tasty bait and a big bucket and arrive early for the best spots! Good luck!

Boat Tug-of-War - We get two boats full of rowers. Then see which crew has the endurance to win the Boat Tug of War. This event takes place off 
Appledore Quay and is very amusing as you see the crews frantically splashing about going nowhere.

Gaffers & Luggers Sailing Boat Race - Gaffers & Lugsails Competition is a very traditional competition and uses wind power to sailing a course along the Torridge. Gaffers & Luggers as its know locally is Gaff and Lug sail which uses the same four sided sail but 'rigged' in different configurations.

Greasy Pole - The Greasy Pole is very old traditional event at the Regatta. The objective of the event is very simple, can you slip your way across the greasy pole and claim your prize or slip off to defeated! This event takes place off Appledore Quay and is well worth the spectacle. Many thanks to Babcock Marine for the 60 ton pontoon! Please note: All greasy pole entrants must be competent swimmers.

Sand Castle Competition - Instow with its long beautiful beach make ideal setting for the Sand Castle Competition. You can register for all ages from 0 to 99 and build your own creation. Exercise your creative talents and show off your skills make a master piece and you may just win a prize! There's also Children's Beach Races that's if they have any energy left.

Water Jousting - Battle between two boats converging with a jouster with a 'lance' in each boat trying to knock the other in the water.

Miller & Sweep - Traditionally a battle with 'Soot and Flour' in boats we're now reduced to just loads of flour which makes just as much mess of the Competitors.

Model Yacht Racing - Introduced in 1937, the Model Yacht Racing is held during low tide on the shore line outside the Royal George Inn on Irsha Street, Appledore weather and tides permitting. With Locals competing with their model yachts which they've prepared over the winter months for racing on this one event. All are welcome to spectate and cheer on for free. Children without a Yacht are encouraged to 'set off' a Yacht in the 'Children Class Races'.

NDYC Sailing Competition - The Sailing Competition is an Open Race, so you are not required to be a member of North Devon Yacht Club or any other Sailing Club, but it does help to know how to sail and local conditions on the Torridge to compete for a variety of races.

Open Salmon Boat Races - To keep alive the tradition of Salmon Fishing which was extremely prevalent on the Torridge River the Regatta hold Salmon Boat Races. This is an Open Event, where anyone with a traditional salmon boat can grab a crew and take part. This event takes place off Appledore Quay for Men, Women & Juniors.

Pilot Gig Boat - Sprint & Challenge Races - Pilot Gig Boat races are not for the faint hearted as its tough enough rowing in calm waters, its a test of endurance to the finish line. These crews row in the sea and up and down the Taw & Torridge Rivers for sporting pleasure...amazing! This event takes place between Appledore Quay & Instow and follows the Cornish Pilot Gig Association Rules (CPGA). This is a very competitive event with local Clubs competing in, to say the least, challenging waters.

School Poster Painting Competition - The School Poster Painting Competition is between the Appledore and Instow Primary Schools to produce stunning works depicting a 'Regatta scene' to be entered into the Competition. There are two age categories for entry: 5-7 Years old & 8-11 Years old.

Sculling over the Stern - This little known boating skill takes place off Appledore Quay and involves a single oar over the stern (rear) of the boat. It takes a lot of effort to go at any pace, but when your racing its an excellent test of endurance and speed.

W.E.A.R.A. Rowing - This event is planned and coordinated by the Regatta Committee in conjunction with the W.E.A.R.A. and is a major competitive event for all West of England Rowing Clubs wishing to take part. All Rowing races are run under the West of England Amateur Rowing Association (W.E.A.R.A) Rules and must follow a set-out course along the River Torridge between Appledore and Instow. Crews set-up in Instow along Marine Parade and set off from Instow Beach.

Anyone taking part in any Regatta event must ensure they have the appropriate safety equipment and competence for the event entered and understand the risks involved.
The RNLI are available during the Regatta and at some selected events during the week.