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"If the modern navy's gonna be like him, I'd be better off down with the fishes!"
Grampus, on Bluenose

Regatta (re-titled 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 the upcoming parade. Lillie is 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 affirms the sentiment, as it is a shame.

That night, a big fog comes down, and Lillie hears a tramp steamer coming towards her at full speed. She tries to warn the tramp steamer about the nearby rocks with her foghorn, but to no reply. The tramp steamer emerges from the fog, strikes Lillie at her port side, and carries on towards the rocks. 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 rushes into her power room, knocking her light out of action.

By morning, Lillie is slowly sinking and still cannot see anyone to help her 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, despite Zorran's protests to tell Captain Zero 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. Everyone cheers, and Lillie will now be towed to Lucky's Yard, from where she will get to see the regatta at last.

Meanwhile, Warrior and Lord Stinker arrives to collect the garbage, but Jack tells Warrior there's no garbage today. This makes Warrior confused until the garbage master tells him there's no garbage and instead today is Municipal Garbage Day. Municipal Garbage Day falls on the same day as the Regatta, and so to celebrate they are going to decorate Lord Stinker with Garbage. Warrior thinks that things are getting stranger and stranger as it is festive day.

Ten Cents is telling Big Mac about Lillie and Grampus when they get an unexpected visit from Bluenose, who is looking for Grampus. Grampus arrives and tells Ten Cents and Big Mac that 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. Bluenose says that, for the navy, Grampus is old and out of date and orders Grampus back to base: "Target practice at fourteen hundred hours!"

As Bluenose takes Grampus away, Ten Cents tries to shout to Grampus to go against what is happening, but Grampus is hopeless, and the two solemnly say goodbye to each other. 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 explains it to Ten Cents and Top Hat.

Ten Cents is sent to Lucky's Yard, where Zorran, Zip and Zug are still present. Zorran is angry about Ten Cents returning, Zip and Zug jokes about how Ten Cents "needs" the log barge, but Ten Cents absolutely does not care and brazenly takes the log barge. Zorran yells at Ten Cents to leave it but he ignores him. Back at the Star Dock, O.J. explains his plan to rescue Grampus to Big Mac and Sunshine. Top Hat is still unsure if they should interfere. Sunshine insists to Top Hat to see the spirit of the plan. Top Hat relinquishes, but he still wants to make it quick so that they will not miss the regatta, especially since he will be leading it. 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, but the Navy has 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 is totally destroyed.

Home at last, O.J. brings up the question of where they should hide Grampus. Top Hat's displeasure is turned onto the arrival of Zorran and the two Zero switchers, who are looking for their timber. Top Hat tries to get Zorran to move off, but Zug tells him that Ten Cents let them be on the deal, much to Ten Cents' shock. Zorran moves past Top Hat, O.J. and Ten Cents and finds Grampus. Zorran concludes that this is stealing government property and threatens to report to the Navy and Captain Zero - until Hercules turns up and tells Zorran to move off. Zorran, knowing that he cannot fool Hercules, does move off. As Zorran leaves, he gives a warning that they will certainly hear about this from the Navy, and Top Hat heads off to Captain Star.

At the garbage dump, the garbage master tells Warrior to do a quick check on the decorated Lord Stinker and Jack. Warrior jokes about the colourful garbage, but Lord Stinker makes a nice comment on the banner above him. The garbage master sends Warrior and Lord Stinker on their way, wishing them good luck. Warrior and the colourful garbage barge Lord Stinker head off, and Warrior thanks the garbage master, laughing about how it has been "a most enjoyable day". Jack happily states, ''I'm gonna enjoy my day now. Good luck Warrior''.

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, towing splended barges including Lord Stinker. Then, Zak comes into view towing the Corporation Lightship, while Zip and Zug 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 behind them, just by himself. Lastly, Zorran comes 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 had been repaired in record time to see the regatta and is very delighted. Suddenly, Grampus surfaces carrying the Star flags, with the news that the Navy sold him to Captain Star, so he's in the Star Fleet now. The tugs blow their hooters happily, and welcome Grampus as the new recruit.


20 Minute Exclusive

  • Zip (speaking role)
  • Jack (speaking role)
  • Captain Zero (mentioned)
  • The Navy Ship (does not speak)



Deleted Scenes

See: Deleted Scenes


  • There are several differences between the VHS version the TV version.
    • When Captain Star is introducing Lillie in the VHS version, he says, "She was equipped with a loud foghorn and a bright light, which could be seen for miles and miles around. I had the contract to keep her shipshape and shining, which kept both Ten Cents and Sunshine busy with the fuel barge. Without this fuel, her light would go out." In the TV version, he says, "She was equipped with a loud foghorn and a bright light, seen for miles around. I had the contract to keep her shipshape and operational, which kept Ten Cents and Sunshine busy. If they let her run out of fuel, her light would go out."
    • In the TV version, the conversation between Ten Cents, Sunshine and Lillie only consists of Ten Cents saying, "There's a regatta tomorrow. Shame you're gonna miss it, Lillie" and Sunshine saying "Yeah. It's my first one!" In the VHS version, Ten Cents and Sunshine express their appreciation of Lillie, to which Lillie is grateful for. She is the one who brings up being left out of the regatta, and Ten Cents jokingly suggests that they can fit a light and foghorn on Sunshine so that Lillie can come and see them. Ten Cents and Sunshine are shown heading home, and Sunshine says they will tell Lillie all about the festivities.
    • In the VHS version, Captain Star says "Lillie was now in a perilous condition" during the close-up of Lillie's hole. In the TV version, he says it over an extended version of the scene of her light fizzling out. Additionally, he says, "When dawn came, Lillie couldn't see anyone to help her, not much work done on regatta day. Suddenly, she saw bubbles on the water, quite close to her. It was Grampus, the small naval submarine," whereas in the VHS version, he says, "Dawn arrived. Lillie looked around anxiously, but there was no one to help her. Suddenly, she saw lots of bubble on the surface quite close to her. It was Grampus, the naval submarine."
    • The music in the scene where the fishing boat goes to inform the Coast Guard is placed differently.
    • In the VHS version, after Captain Star says that the tugs will have to forget the festivities for a while, Top Hat says it is an outrage but settles down when Captain Star says it is an emergency job. This is not included in the TV version. Additionally, the TV version cuts Zorran ordering Zip and Zug to block Ten Cents from the yard and also Zorran saying he will do worse than complain to Captain Star about the timber barge; he will report Ten Cents to Captain Zero.
    • In the scene of Lillie's rescue, Might Mo saying "And on command, pull him out!" is cut from the TV version. Also, after Ten Cents pulls Grampus free, O.J. says, "Now, Mighty Mo, tow her to Lucky's Yard!" and the scene ends with Ten Cents cheering. In the VHS version, the line is omitted, Grampus spits water twice instead of just once, and after Ten Cents is done cheering, Mighty Mo says that the extent of Lillie's damage means they cannot do much at sea even with the timber, so they must take her to Lucky's Yard. Ten Cents tows Mighty Mo, still attached to Lillie and O.J. puts on a bowline. Grampus goes with them, and Ten Cents tells Lillie that this means she will see the regatta.
    • After the rescue of Lillie Lightship, the VHS version contains a scene that is cut from the TV version. In the scene, 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, looking smart using very prime colourful garbage.
    • Following the above scene, there is a scene of Ten Cents, O.J., Lillie, and Grampus at Lucky's Yard in the VHS version that is cut from the TV version. Ten Cents says he must go and help Big Mac and wishes Lillie good luck with the repairs. Lillie thanks him and tells him to enjoy the regatta as he heads off to find Big Mac.
    • In the VHS version, Captain Star says, "Ten Cents was quick to find Big Mac and told him about Grampus and Lillie as he went about his work. They were suddenly interrupted by a shrill blast from Bluenose the naval tug." In the TV version, he says, "Ten Cents was telling Big Mac about Lillie and Grampus when he was interrupted by a shrill blast from the naval tug Bluenose, who liked to throw his weight about." Additionally, at the end of the scene, Big Mac's line, "We'll save our wee Grampus if it's the last thing we do" is only present in the VHS version.
    • The scene where O.J. first talks about his plan, the second scene with the Z-Stacks, and the scene where Top Hat says he will be leading the regatta all have several lines of dialogue cut from them. The TV version also cuts every mention of Captain Zero.
    • After Bluenose leaves, both versions have Grampus spitting out water, but the sound of him doing so is only heard in the TV version. The Navy Ship also has three lines of dialogue, all of which are not present in the VHS version; one is before Grampus sees the Stars approaching, one is the one that Top Hat reacts to with panic, and the last makes Top Hat panic further. Finally, some of the Navy Ship's misses are cut from the TV version.
    • In the VHS version, after Zorran leaves, Top Hat says ,"Yes, I'm off as well... I've wasted far too much time already...", and Hercules says, "Well, I don't think I'll wait around for answers, I want to be in the show today too. You can tell me all later. Now where's Warrior got to?" In the TV version, Top Hat says, "I'll go and see if Captain Star will get the Navy to spare Grampus" and Hercules says, "Take on the Navy? Worth a try. Go on, Grampus, you go with Top Hat. Well, m'dears, the rest of us will join the parade!"
    • In the TV 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. Also, the band music continues over stock footage from Sunshine before the final scene.
    • Captain Star has an end message after Grampus tells the Star Tugs he is one of them, which is only included in the TV version: "I told the Navy about my tugs rescuing Grampus, I said I'd buy him. He turned out to be a real bargain."
  • This episode marks the final appearance of The Duchess.
  • This is the first appearance of The Princess Alice.
  • Stock footage from "High Winds" is used.
  • The opening scene of this episode of Sunshine and Ten Cents with Lillie Lightship is repurposed from a deleted scene from "High Winds", where Lillie talks to Ten Cents and Sunshine about Johnny Cuba. The "Regatta" scene's relation to this deleted scene is obvious once known: when Ten Cents and Sunshine are saying goodbye, Sunshine is the only one who leaves, as in "High Winds" he was originally leaving to go offer Johnny Cuba a tow.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of the Garbage Master and the Navy Ship and the only speaking role of Jack the Grappler and The Princess Alice.
  • 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.
  • This episode has the most physical character appearances than any other.
  • The tramp steamer that hits Lillie is Johnny Cuba without a face and hat.
    • Rather curiously, no one at Bigg City seems bothered to ask the cause of Lillie's damage, or that a ship recently crashed and sank.
  • The collision with the tramp steamer and Lillie was most likely inspired by the incident when Titanic's sister ship, the RMS Olympic, rammed and sank the Nantucket Lightship 117.
  • 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 20 minute cut was released on VHS 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 television broadcasts, 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 JoAnne Good collapsing in hysterics. [1]
  • This marks the only speaking role of the Coast Guard's Messenger.
  • A cattle van can be spotted in this episode.
  • Going by production order, this is the sixth episode of the series.
  • Zorran is helping out with the construction of the Diesel Tug in this episode. This is shown in the scene where the tarp is removed from the timber barge, as a large silver engine is shown waiting to be unloaded next to it. Fans have speculated that his subdued personality in later episodes of the series is a result of him having a reality check from helping build his and the other tugs' eventual replacement.


  • When the tramp steamer strikes Lillie, the model falls over a near 45 degrees, her deck taking on water, the model not bobbing. The next shot of Lillie shows her barely upright in a higher position.
  • Before the tugs go to save Grampus, the San Juan Bananas and wood barges are at the Star Dock. In the regatta, they're being towed by Zip and Zug.
  • 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 are 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 The Princess Alice in that scene.
  • When the Navy Ship shoots the log barge, no matter how rough the water becomes, the log barge doesn't move at all.


Season 1

Season 2 >>

#01 Sunshine #05 Munitions #10 Jinxed
#02 Pirate #06 Warrior #11 High Winds
#03 Trapped #07 High Tide #12 Up River
#04 Regatta #08 Quarantine #13 Bigg Freeze
#09 Ghosts