Since 1877, Sunbury Regatta has not only been a serious skiffing race event for local clubs but it has also been an annual calendar event for Surrey and the local community.
Thousands of families attend to watch 60 club skiffing and punting races as well as 40 local events such as 'Row for your local' and Dongola racing in fancy dress.
For many years (not quite since 1877!) we, as a family alongside others, especially enjoyed watching the illuminated boats and the fire works which start by around 9.30pm on the evening of the first day of Regatta (Sunday is the junior regatta); mainly from outside St Mary's church or from the Rivermead Island. But this year we had the cherry on the cake!
Just to give a little of the history. We attended the 2015 open day of Aquarius sailing club and after a second chance to try sailing, meeting nice active members and a taste of hospitality, we already found ourselves part of this well established team.
We left with no reason not to join in and since then we have regularly visited the club, learning and improving our sailing skills but the icing was when we were told that the club was arranging a boat trip to watch the Regatta evening event from a better spot in the middle of the river Thames.
After a DIY barbecue, 22 members split into two patrol boats and a row boat. Captain Richard and Captain Bryan each helmed a boat to one of the best viewing spots at Rivermead Island opposite the fireworks launching area near Sunbury Lock.
Members Phil and Di Howley, who are also members of Middle Thames Yacht Club the organisers of the sail past, were on their cruiser Hibari expecting us; we tied up behind her and Graham Thompson joined us in his row boat; Phil kindly supplied a jar of Pimm's and some crisps and then the party started.
We cheered the illuminated boats passing with exiting light decorations and been by the most amazing firework display, also the return journey to the club in the dark was an experience.
Frank Rainsborough was busy all this time with his professional camera recording this night to remember; Photos by Frank.
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