A HOST of racing and entertainment will arrive on Maldon’s Hythe Quay when an annual regatta returns this month.

The full-day event, which will see a host of traditional and modern yachts racing up and down the River Blackwater will take place on Saturday, September 22.

The event has been held for generations and in its present form since 2002.

Old gaffers, smacks and yachts will race up the river from West Mersea to Osea and from there back to Maldon in a second race before berthing at the quay.

The regatta has developed into a key date in Maldon’s calendar, celebrating the history of the town and the fine boats that are still used at the quay today.

Last year, the regatta donated more than £1,800 to three charities.

Regatta chairman Gerry Courtney said: “Hopefully it should be very good, as usual we keep our fingers crossed for the weather.

“The boats from the second race from Osea Island to Maldon should be arriving at 11.45am.

“Most of the programme will be the same but there are a few things we’re bringing in this year.

“We have not previously had a raffle but we’re doing it this year with prizes donated from businesses.

“Another new thing is that the Maldon model boat club have built a special small boat for kids to sail on the model boat pond.”

There will be entertainment, stalls and live music all day.

As well as races on the water, there will be a boat jumble, a treasure hunt and raffle, a barbecue, and an opportunity to visit a Thames Barge or the Steam Tug Brent.

From midday, there will be shanty singers, a rubber duck race and other events.

The event continues into the evening with live music from 7pm.

On the water, races start at 8am for the longer courses and 8.10am for shorter courses.

For details visit www.maldonregatta.co.uk or www.facebook.com/MaldonTownRegatta.