This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"If the modern navy's gonna be like him, I'd be better off down with the fishes!"
Grampus, on Bluenose

Regatta (retitled 4th July for the VHS version) is the fourth episode of Tugs.


On the day before a regatta, Ten Cents and Sunshine take fuel to Lillie Lightship and tell her about it. Lillie feels very left out, as she is anchored in the bay outside Bigg City Port and won't be able to see any of it from Dem Der Rocks. Ten Cents jokingly suggests that they can fit a light and foghorn on Sunshine, so that Lillie can come and see it.

That night, a big fog comes down; and whilst she is thinking about the regatta, Lillie hears a tramp steamer coming towards her very fast. She tries to warn the tramp steamer about the nearby rocks with her foghorn, but to no replies. The tramp steamer emerges from the fog, strikes Lillie at her port side, and carries on towards the rocks. But it's too late as the tramp steamer crashes into the rocks, slips backwards and sinks rapidly. Lillie is now in trouble, with a huge hole on her port side close to her bow, water gets into her power room, knocking her light out of action.

By morning, Lillie is slowly sinking and still waiting for help until Grampus arrives. Grampus finds out that if he tries to tow Lillie into Bigg City Port, she can take in more water and sink. Instead he uses his face to plug the hole so that he can keep Lillie afloat until real help comes. Fortunately, a small fishing boat sees the situation and heads for Bigg City Port to inform the Coast Guard's Messenger.

Back at the Star Dock, everyone is getting excited about the Regatta until the Coast Guard's Messenger arrives and tells them about Lillie sinking. Captain Star tells O.J. to collect Mighty Mo and Ten Cents to collect a timber barge. Now, the Star Tugs will have to forget about the regatta for a while, much to the annoyance of Top Hat. Ten Cents arrives at Lucky's Yard to collect a timber barge, only to discover that Zorran, Zip and Zug are there and need a timber barge as well. Ten Cents takes the only timber barge available anyway, and sets off to the rescue.

At the rescue scene, Ten Cents cannot believe his eyes when he discovers Grampus stuck in Lillie's hole. He cannot help but laugh since it looks very funny to him. Mighty Mo, on Lillie's starboard side, lifts Lillie while Ten Cents pulls Grampus out of the hole. As Lillie has a huge hole, they must take her to Lucky's Yard. Ten Cents tows Mighty Mo, still attached to Lillie and O.J. puts on a bowline (presumably to the timber barge on Lillie's port side).

Back in Bigg City, Warrior arrives at the City Dump with Lord Stinker. But Jack the garbage scooper tells Warrior that there isn't any garbage at all, so too does the Garbage Master. After they convince Warrior about "no garbage", the Garbage Master explains that they are going to make Lord Stinker, their float for the regatta, look smart using very prime colourful garbage.

After taking Lillie to Lucky's Yard, Ten Cents goes to work with Big Mac. But, they get an unexpected visit from Bluenose, who is looking for Grampus. Grampus arrives and tells Ten Cents and Big Mac, that at 2:00 in the afternoon, he is going to be blown up by the Navy. Bluenose goes on to explain that, instead of Grampus rotting away in a breaker's yard, they want to use him for target practice. But Ten Cents objects, considering Grampus is still very useful for them. However for the Navy, Grampus is old and out of date. Ten Cents says Grampus is a useful submarine, but Grampus secretly preferred the idea of getting blown up than staying with the modern navy.

As soon as Bluenose takes Grampus out towards the open sea, Big Mac tells Ten Cents to tell O.J. about the Navy's plan. Quickly as he can, Ten Cents arrives at the Star Dock and tells O.J. about Grampus' fate. O.J. makes a plan and sends Ten Cents to Lucky's Yard, and tells Top Hat to help as well. But Top Hat finds the rescue of both Lillie and Grampus as a distraction, all because he's leading the regatta this year.

Ten Cents goes to Lucky's Yard and Zorran, Zip and Zug are still there. Ten Cents tells them that they need the log barge, but Zorran tells Ten Cents if he takes it, he'll report a second theft by Ten Cents to Captain Zero. But, Ten Cents takes no notice and takes the log barge. Back at the Star Dock, O.J. explains his plan to rescue Grampus to Big Mac, Top Hat and Sunshine. But Top Hat is still moaning that he'll miss the regatta. Soon, Ten Cents turns up, and once they attach a white target flag at each end of the log barge, Ten Cents, Big Mac, O.J. and Top Hat set off to the rescue.

Out at sea, Bluenose tells Grampus (with white target flags on him) that he has been a very good submarine and the Navy has got no further use for him, which Grampus agrees to. As soon as Bluenose gets clear of the target practices, Grampus sees the Star Tugs coming towards him and tells them to stay clear. Top Hat gets a panic attack about being in the danger zone, but O.J. and Big Mac tell him to keep moving. Quickly, Ten Cents gets a stern line onto Grampus and Big Mac cuts his stern line from the log barge, carrying the white target flags. As soon as the Star Tugs and Grampus clear away, the Navy start firing at the log barge which gets totally destroyed.

As soon as the Star Tugs get back to Bigg City Port, Zorran and the Zero switchers turn up, looking for their timber barge; the timber barges that Ten Cents took were going to be for the regatta. Zorran has a look around the Star Tugs and discovers Grampus; then he jumps to the conclusion that the Star Tugs are stealing government property - until Hercules turns up and tells Zorran to move off. Zorran, knowing that he cannot fool Hercules, does move off - and so too does a very impatient Top Hat. Hercules tells his colleagues that they can tell him about their rescue later, and is curious to know where Warrior is.

At the garbage dump, the garbage master checks Lord Stinker and Jack before Warrior joins the regatta. Warrior jokes about the colourful garbage, but Lord Stinker makes a nice comment on the banner above him. Once Warrior leaves, Jack is very happy with his work.

At last, the regatta is ready. The Princess Alice is the commentator, and as soon as the cannon fires, the parade starts. Top Hat leads off, with shipmates O.J., Big Mac and Warrior following him. Then, Zak from the Zero Fleet comes into view towing the Corporation Lightship, with Zip and Zug the Zero switchers bring up the rear towing a new upriver breakfast - wood and bananas. Then, Ten Cents towing Little Ditcher and Sunshine towing Sally Seaplane come into view, with Hercules following just behind them. Never mind, Hercules! Lastly, Zorran turns up towing the loudest barge of the day with music from the famous Bridge Café Band. After the parade, the Princess Alice announces that all the tugs have won a prize.

That night, O.J. gathers all the other Star Tugs outside Lucky's Yard. The lights turn on and on the quayside, is Lillie Lightship, repaired and floating again. Lillie is very happy to see the regatta for herself. Suddenly, Grampus surfaces carrying the Star flags, much to the surprise of Ten Cents. Grampus tells the Star switchers that the Navy sold him to Captain Star, so he's in the Star Fleet now - and Ten Cents and Sunshine blow their hooters happily, and welcome Grampus as the new recruit.


VHS Version Exclusive


  • The following scenes were either edited or altered in the TV version.
    • Stock footage from "Sunshine" is used.
    • There are two scenes of Ten Cents and Sunshine telling Lillie about the Regatta. These scenes are not included in the VHS version.
    • Captain Star's dialogue at the beginning is different to the VHS version. It is also different in the morning scene when Grampus pops up to help Lillie.
    • Captain Star's narration in the scene where Ten Cents meets Big Mac is different from the VHS version.
    • The music in the scene where the fishing boat goes to inform the Coast Guard is placed differently.
    • Captain Star has an end message after Grampus tells the Star Tugs he is one of them, "I told the Navy about my tugs rescuing Grampus, I said I'd buy him. He turned out to be a real bargain."
    • The Navy Ship warns the tugs to clear off. In the VHS version, he just blasts his siren.
    • After Zorran leaves, Top Hat goes to ask Captain Star if Grampus can join the Star Fleet. However in the VHS Version, Top Hat leaves to get ready for the Regatta.
    • After Top Hat has gone, Hercules' dialogue is different compared to the VHS version.
    • When Zorran comes through during the parade with the Bridge Cafe Band barge, the band plays for the rest of the parade scenes rather than the parade music resuming as in the VHS Version.
  • This episode marks the final appearances of The Duchess and Sally Seaplane.
  • This is the first appearance of Princess Alice.
  • Stock footage from "High Winds" is used.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of the Garbage Master and the Navy Ship and the only speaking role of Jack the Grappler and Princess Alice.
  • The first part of Warrior's main scene is cut in the TV version. However, in the VHS version, it is not cut.
  • Zebedee is the only Z-Stack that didn't join the parade.
  • On the VHS re-release, the episode was retitled "4th July" making this the only episode with an alternate title.
  • The title of this episode is kept in English in the Finnish dub.
  • Sally Seaplane is seen with an American Flag, and Jack the Grappler has a 'Uncle Sam'-like hat on. This may serve as evidence that Bigg City is in the United States.
  • The tramp steamer that hits Lillie is Johnny Cuba without a face and hat.
  • A barge is seen featuring a model of the Clearwater Features logo when the Star Tugs rescue Grampus. The banner above it reads: "Clearwater Water Supply: Best Boiled".
  • Most of the Pen Portraits in the 1989 Annual are photos from Regatta.
  • Although Regatta was broadcast in 1989, the director's cut was released on VHS in 1988.
  • TVS aired the director's cut of this episode in 1988.
  • The Japanese title of this episode is called "Save Grampus".
  • The theme that plays during the Regatta is a remix of Warrior's theme.
  • The shot of Ten Cents alongside O.J. at the Star Dock is the one used for the series' logo in the intro for fifteen minute episodes, but mirrored.
  • The recording session that involved Grampus inserting his nose into Lillie Lightship's hole of course resulted in numerous ad-libs from the actors, which included Lillie's voice actress collapsing in hysterics. [1]
  • This marks the only speaking role of the Coast Guard's Messenger.
  • This was the twelfth episode produced.


  • In several scenes, a gap can clearly be seen between Ten Cents' eye mechanism and his face mask.
  • Grampus looks and sounds happy when he says, "They're going to blow me up today" when he was supposed to look sad.
  • When Ten Cents goes to fetch the second log barge, it is really just a stack of logs tied together, not upon a barge.
  • As Ten Cents prepares to tow Mighty Mo, the crane cannot be seen behind him, as this is stock footage from the previous scene.
  • When Zorran approaches the Star Fleet, his front fender is loose. Also, Zip is following him. Two shots later, Zug resides in his spot. Then when Hercules comes next to Zorran, Zip is all the way in the background in front of a white warehouse.
  • Before the parade starts, Zebedee, Zak, and the Coast Guard keep changing positions.
  • When Zorran whistles during the parade, he has Top Hat's foghorn sound.
  • In the TV version of this episode, when the narrator says, "Back at the Star Dock," the scene shows the port with the tugs celebrating, but in the next scene the tugs are back at the dock.
  • When Lillie is at Lucky's Yard, Little Ditcher is very low in the water.
  • For most of the episode, one of Ten Cents' side bumpers is loose.
  • Because of stock footage on the TV Version, the tugs are not decorated during the fireworks. They are also celebrating The Duchess instead of Princess Alice in that scene.
  • When the Navy Boat shoots the log barge, no matter how rough the water becomes, the log barge doesn't move at all.
  • In a picture of Hercules confronting Zorran, a crew-member can be seen behind the buildings.


VHS Release

Regatta was first released on VHS in 1988 by Castle Vision and was released along with the episode Munitions. The cover listed the episode as 4th July.

Castle Vision re-released the Munitions/Regatta VHS in 1990 to match the style of the other video release covers. Still listed on cover as 4th July. It was released a third time on VHS in 1990 by Castle Vision under the Playbox range of videos with the same episodes. For the first time the opening sequence was edited to say 4th July. As well, the shot of the fog-covered canal with the covered truss bridge in the background was replaced with the panning shot of the Star tugs waiting for the Duchess in Sunshine. This is the only time the same clip was used twice in the same intro.

The episode was released on VHS a fourth time when it was included on PolyGram Video's reprint of Volume 3, which included Trapped, Ghosts and High Winds. The tape used the original master of this episode with the Regatta title card.