A regatta is an organized series of boat races. In a regatta, yachts or sailboats usually participate, but some regattas focus on rowboats or powerboats.
In the 1650s, regatta related to a boat race among gondoliers, held on the Grand Canal in Venice. The Italian word regatta means "contention for mastery" and comes from the Latin word regattare, or "to compete, haggle, sell at retail." Regatta came to specifically mean "boat race" — and the many social events related to it — in the late 1700s.