|“||Oh, I'm excited. Oh, you know I love setting up stands and putting up banners, and getting everyone fired up to watch boats sail slooooowly across the harbor.||”|
The Regatta was a boat race held by the Vikings of the Hairy Hoolighan Tribe of Berk, before the invention of Dragon Racing. It is only featured in the flashbacks during the movie short Dawn of the Dragon Racers.
Every year Berk held a Regatta as a means to blow off steam before the Vikings lost their cool. It was a sporting event for which the village decorated banners, set up stands, and hyped up to watch the boats sail "sloooowly across the harbor", as Hiccup puts it. After the teens learn to ride dragons however, they find the Regatta to be a bit old fashioned and boring. So they come up with an even more exciting way to blow off steam - Dragon Racing. The Regatta appears to have been replaced with Dragon Racing from that year onward.
|“||Hiccup, we Vikings have always had something to fight about. Be it dragons, or Dagur, or Alvin. If we're not fighting something, we're fighting each other. ... Look, the Regatta's a good way to blow off steam. [src]||”|
Initially, Fishlegs built a Regatta Boat with Meatlug to compete, upholding the long-standing Regatta participation by House Ingerman. However, after he finds Meatlug gets seasick and sinks the boat, he joins the other Dragon Riders.
Real life regattas are held world wide, and involve social and promotional activities to excite the surrounding community for the event. Traditionally, regattas are for wind or man powered (oar rowed) sea vessels, but some areas include special events for electric motor powered vessels. Though no specific events termed "regattas" were recorded in the Viking Age, the Vikings were a sea-faring people and most likely engaged in boat-racing of some kind.