The International Whaleboat Regatta, first held in 2004 in New Bedford and is a major City-wide event and tourist attraction. The Regatta alternates each year between New Bedford and the Azores. The 7th International Whaleboat Regatta will be held in New Bedford in partnership with the Whaling Museum from September 4 to September 10, 2013. The Regatta attracts US and international tourists and wooden boat enthusiasts as well as civic leaders and dignitaries from the US, Azores and mainland Portugal.
In 2011, the event helped to welcome over 1,000 people to the waterfront district of New Bedford. Two teams from the Azores will travel to the Whaling City to compete against our local team in both sailing and rowing competitions. Wrapped around the actual “on the water” events is a week full of land-based activities, social events, lectures, cultural performances and exhibitions. Adding a new level of excitement in 2013 is the inclusion of three American Beetle whaleboats presently under construction. These three boats are being built to swing off the davits of the Charles W Morgan to during her epic sail into New Bedford in July 2014.
On Sunday, September 8 the three Beetle Boats will compete against the three Azorean boats in a sailing event. This is sure to lure the interest of wooden boat and sailing enthusiasts throughout New England and beyond. Not since the end of the whaling era has anything like this been seen.