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8th September Regatta

The regatta held every year on the 8th of September commemorates Malta’s Victory of the 1565 Great siege and the Second World War. The competitive mile long races are held in the Grand Harbor with Fort St Angelo as a backdrop.

The victory day regatta can be traced back to the Feast of the Nativity of our Lady (il-Bambina) in 1822. Yet boat races date back to the time of the knights of St John, where parishes in the Grand Harbour would ask the Grand Master for permission to organize rowing competitions as part of Feats Day celebrations. The regatta became an integral part of the Victory Day Celebrations.

The Regatta Clubs

Seven rowing clubs known as Regatta Clubs participate in the regatta. These include Birgu (Vittoriosa), Bormla (Cospicua), Isla (Senglea), Kalkara, Marsa, Marsamxett (Valletta), in recent years the Birzebbuga regatta club started competing as well.

There are 5 different classes of racing boats, with very strictly regulated design specifications. These include the two rower traditional passenger water taxi , as well as longer boats with four oarsmen.

The race course stretches between Mars and the Customs House in Valletta. On the day thousands of spectators line the Grand harbor shores, and bastions to closely follow the 10 different races (2 for each category).Although there should be 7 different lanes one for each competing Regatta club, lanes are not adhered too once the race starts.

The first 3 winners in each race are awarded prizes and the club with the highest overall points wins the Aggregate shield. Each year the different regatta clubs to their best to win the shield which is strongly contested.

The regatta is a great fun event and a source of great local pride. If you’re in Malta on the 8th of September make sure you don’t miss attending!

See the spanish translation