King Pocky's Derwent Water Regatta

The sun sparkles as it hits the water, and although the canoe wobbles a bit as you get in, an instructor’s on hand reassuring you and giving you all the tips you need to stay dry. A family pootles past in some floating bath tubs, and some whooping from across the water tells you your friends have got the hang of the catamaran. The ducks look worried.

The best thing about King Pocky’s Derwent Water Regatta is that it’s all about joining in and having fun, getting out on the water and having a go at something you never thought you’d try.

With low-cost ‘starter sessions’ in many different kind of boats and craft, all with qualified instructors, it’s a great opportunity to discover the watersport you never knew you loved.

Two days of getting out on the water

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July 2016, hundreds of people will be taking part in low-cost watersport and activity sessions as part of the regatta, so bring your beach shoes and a spare pair of socks and join in!

All activities are run by qualified instructors
Canoe instructor prepares group on lakeshore

All water activity sessions are provided by local outdoor providers and will include canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, sailing dinghies, a catamaran and a Viking long-boat. There will also be dragon-boat races to raise funds for the National Trust.

Details of how to book a taster session will appear here closer to the time.
Things to do on dry land
The regatta takes place at Crow Park, just beside Theatre by the Lake, and there are spectator sports for those who’d rather keep their feet dry; 500m sprint rowing races and a form of polo tournament played entirely using kayaks made for some very exciting moments last year.
There’s also a traditional fairground, live music and drama from local community choirs and youth groups, free family activities from the 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ campaign, free sports and games to play including badminton, volleyball and frisbee golf provided by National Trust Sports and plenty of stalls food and drink so that you can make the event a real family outing.
Enjoy entertainment while you watch the boats on the water
Sing Owt choir singing at Derwent Water Regatta, Keswick
An event with historic roots
The first regatta on Derwent Water was held in 1781 by Joseph Pocklington, the wealthy and eccentric man who'd been living on Derwent Island.
His advertisement in The Cumberland Pacquet promised a rowing race round all four islands, with a prize of seven guineas (over £1,000 today), a sweepstake for swimming horses.
The highlight was an armed fleet, commanded by 'Admiral' Peter Crosthwaite and complete with swivel guns and gunpowder but no shot, attacking 'King Pocky' Pocklington’s island where 'a stout resistance is expected to be made’.
Once the smoke had cleared, the invasion was followed by a ‘genteel cold collation’ for a lucky few guests invited to the island, fireworks and a grand ball at the assembly room at the Lodore hotel.
Pocklington's regattas were all about people pitching in to create a dramatic, and slightly chaotic, spectacle - it's that spirit of mayhem and madness that's inspired our re-incarnation of the event.
To get really into the anarchic spirit, why not come dressed as a maurauding pirate?