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Weather cooperates for 196th Royal St. John's Regatta

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 8:48 AM - Steeped in Newfoundland tradition, the Royal St. John's Regatta is one of the most popular and weather dependent holidays of the year.

The unique holiday always takes place on the first Wednesday of August, and it's on this day that hundreds of rowers and tens of thousands of spectators gather at Quidi Vidi Lake.

"It being a holiday and the middle of the week -- we get anywhere from 40- 50,000 people that come down for several hours," said Sandy Hickman, a long time member of the Royal St. John's Regatta.

It's one of Canada's oldest sporting events, dating back to 1816.

"These are rowing races that take place in St. John's on the first Wednesday of August and this is the only Civic Holiday in North America that can be declared by a committee of persons not associated with the government body."

Hickman adds that the weather usually plays a big role on the holiday.

"The direction of the wind is a factor and I would say anywhere from 50 to 60 km/h would be enough to cancel in those conditions...More often than not, every four or five years, we'll have a really windy day and have to postpone it until the next day," says Hickman.

This year, officials had Tropical Storm Bertha to keep an eye on as well.

"Tropical Storm Bertha continues to track north-northeast having less and less of an impact on Atlantic Canada," says Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg. "Nova Scotia and Newfoundland will experience little to moderate storm surge, and winds will be of little impact."

According to Sonnenburg, localized areas could see up to 25 mm of rain through parts of Newfoundland, but rainfall amounts do not seem to be significant.

The Regatta Committee met at 5:30 am Wednesday to confirm this year's race was a go.

"Are you all ready? The running of the 196th Royal St.John's Regatta is a go!," the committee Tweeted.

Four things you need to know about Wednesday, August 6
Secondary low behind Bertha to bring bigger impact to Newfoundland and the Maritimes this weekend
Summer so far: A review of the 2014 forecast
Nova Scotia man plans solo rowing voyage

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