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Battle stepped up to save Torquay Red Arrows display

By HEHannahFinch  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

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Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver has pledged to support Regatta organisers after the loss of the Red Arrows in Torquay this year.

He said that he wants to meet with the Royal Torbay Yacht Club after the Red Arrows team confirmed it would not appear this year on the last day of regatta week on Wednesday 27 August because of ‘other commitments'.

Mayor Oliver said: “ I would be very supportive of a campaign led by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, who have been organisers of this extremely popular event at The Torbay Royal Regatta, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year.

“The Red Arrows are the centrepiece of this historic event and brings in substantial revenue to the whole of the Bay with tourism and retail. I am more than happy to lend my support and look forward to meeting with the Royal Torbay Yacht Club and others to see what can be done."

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The Herald express has launched a petition to ask the Red Arrows for a u-turn at ipetitions.com

Leading hoteliers in Torquay say they will work together to ensure a dazzling event even if the Red Arrows are not involved.

Caroline Durowse, head of marketing at the Grand Hotel and Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay said: “It is disappointing because they always put on a breathtaking display and it is a highlight for residents and visitors.

“We are more than happy to work with other hotels and the ERTC to see what we can do to bridge the gap with an equally breathtaking attraction.”

Steve Furness, who operates the Headland Hotel in Torquay and the Palace and Queens Hotels in Paignton said: “I am really disappointed because it is a great summer event.

“But how about we look at getting another display? Perhaps the new war plane Eurofighter Typhoon - that is awesome and will create an amazing display.”

The news was confirmed to Debbie Selley, regatta secretary from the Torbay Royal Yacht Club on Friday.

She said: “I was told about a month ago that they may not be able to come but the last I heard was that they were trying desperately hard to make it because they love coming to Torquay.

“It is very sad for everyone in Torbay because this is a huge trading day for all the hotels and business and the residents and visitors love it, it makes a real holiday atmosphere.”

She explained that the regatta schedule means that the regatta days cannot be changed to suit the Red Arrows in future years.

She said: “The fear is that because of the schedule, they not be able to come again.

“I think we are certainly going to have to put our thinking caps on.”

The Red Arrows have published the list of appearances on its website.

It lists Mon 25 August at

Hoylake RNLI Open Day.

Thursday 28 and Friday 29 August at Bournemouth International Air Festival and Dartmouth Regatta on Friday August 29.

Dawlish airshow is unaffected.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • Dave123Cook  |  February 22 2014, 8:21AM

    Any chance of a flypast before or after the display at Dartmouth, as they will be returning to Bournemouth Airport where they are based for that weekend. I know this is after the regatta has ended, but something is usually better than nothing.

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