Sorry, roulette players: high winds have delayed the 204th Royal St. John's Regatta

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The 204th Royal St. John's Regatta has been delayed by at least a day, said committee vice-president Ashley Peach Wednesday. (Peter Cowan/CBC - image credit)
The 204th Royal St. John's Regatta has been delayed by at least a day, said committee vice-president Ashley Peach Wednesday. (Peter Cowan/CBC - image credit)
Peter Cowan/CBC
Peter Cowan/CBC

The 204th Royal St. John's Regatta has been delayed by at least a day due to high winds.

The announcement came from regatta committee vice-president Ashley Peach at a 6 a.m. news conference on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, today's weather conditions are not favourable for safe rowing conditions," Peach said.

She said the committee voted unanimously to postpone the event, with weather conditions already looking more favourable on Thursday. The committee will reconvene Thursday morning and hold another news conference at 6 a.m..

The weather-dependent St. John's holiday goes ahead only if the regatta committee determines weather conditions are appropriate for rowing on Quidi Vidi Lake.

Peach said winds are expected to be 20 km/h gusting to 40 km/h from the south, which could make rowing conditions unsafe.

"I apologize to everyone who was playing regatta roulette and unfortunately lost, but certainly fingers crossed for tomorrow."

This year, the event will include 71 teams and 20 races. The 2022 regatta will also mark the first time women will row the 2.45 kilometre long course.

Since 1816, the long course has been reserved for men, but this year that changes, with four women's teams set to compete in the long course.

"I never understood why there would be two different distances for men and women. It didn't make sense to me," rower Nancy Beaton told the St. John's Morning Show earlier this week.

The regatta is also welcoming back dozens of vendors and thousands of spectators for the first time since 2019.

"While we waited a couple of years to get a full regatta, we feel waiting one more day is worth it," Peach said.

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