The Blue Ribbon Regatta has now been held over 50 times, much to the delight of sailing enthusiasts. The race is the largest event held by the Hungarian Yachting Association, and puts the skills, endurance and willpower of participants to the test. During these races, hundreds of sailors compete against each other on the internationally popular ‘Hungarian Sea’ – in other words, Lake Balaton – by completing a full circuit along the Balatonfüred-Balatonkenese-Siófok-Keszthely-Balatonfüred route.
Why Blue? And why Ribbon? When is it held?
While there is no literal ribbon for the boats to tear across at the finish line, back in the day, the fastest sailboat earned the right to adorn its mast with a blue ribbon – hence the name of the regatta. This tradition was brought to Lake Balaton by the Hungária Yacht Klub in 1934, when they first announced the regatta. Since then, the Blue Ribbon Regatta has been held regularly, more recently by the Hungarian Yachting Association.
While the event has been held every year almost without fail since the turn of the millennium, the date is not set in stone: it is customary to always hold the regatta on the July weekend that is closest to a full moon. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, and the time limit is 48 hours, which is how long competitors have to circumnavigate the lake.