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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book adaptation.
"If the modern navy's gonna' be like him, I'd be better off down with the fishes!"
Grampus
RegattaHeader
Regatta/4th of July
Director(s)

David Mitton

Producer(s)

Robert D. Cardona

Writer(s)

David Mitton

Air date

20th June 1989

Previous episode

Munitions

Next episode

Bigg Freeze

Regatta, retitled 4th of July on VHS releases, is the twelfth episode of TUGS.

Plot

On the day before the 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 Dender Rocks. Ten Cents jokingly suggests that they can fit a light and foghorn to Sunshine, so that Lillie can come and see it.

That night, the 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 avail. The tramp steamer emerges from the fog, strikes Lillie at her port side, and carries on towards the rocks. Too late, the tramp steamer crashes into the rocks, slips backwards and sinks rapidly. But 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 surfaces. Grampus decides, rather than towing Lillie in to Bigg City Port, to use his face to plug the hole so that he can keep Lillie afloat until real help comes instead. Fortunately, a small fishing boat sees the situation and heads for Bigg City Port to inform the Coast Guard's Messenger.

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; 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 bow line (presumably to the timber barge on Lille's port side).

Back in Bigg City, Warrior arrives at the Garbage Dump with Lord Stinker. But Jack the Grappler 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 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 o'clock 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.

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 begins. Top Hat leads off, with O.J., Big Mac and Warrior following him. Then, Zak comes into view towing a light barge, with Zip and Zug bring up the rear towing a new up-river breakfast - wood and bananas. Then, Ten Cents towing Little Ditcher and Sunshine towing Sally Seaplane come into view, with Hercules following just behind them. Lastly, Zorran turns up towing the musical barge 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 flag, 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.

Characters

Trivia

  • In the televised version, stock footage from Sunshine is used.
  • This episode marks the final appearances of Bluenose, Grampus, Captain Star and Sally Seaplane.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of the Garbage Master and the only speaking role of Jack The Grappler.
  • In the televised version, there are two scenes of Ten Cents and Sunshine telling Lillie about the Regatta. These scenes are not included in the VHS version.
  • On the VHS re-release, the episode was retitled "4th of July". This is the only episode with an alternate title.
  • Sally Seaplane is seen with an American Flag, and Jack the Grappler has a 'Uncle Sam'-like hat on, proving Bigg City Port is in the U.S.
  • The tramp steamer that hits Lillie is Johnny Cuba without a face and hat.
  • Captain Star's narration in the scene where Ten Cents meets Big Mac in the TV Version is different to the VHS version.
  • The music in the scene where the Fishing Boat goes to inform the Coast Guard is different in the televised version.
  • At the beginning of the televised version, Captain Star's dialogue is different to the VHS version. It is also different in the morning scene when Grampus pops up to help Lillie.
  • At the end of the TV Version, Captain Star has a message after Grampus tells the Star Tugs he is one of them, "I told them they'd be about my tugs rescuing Grampus, I said I'd buy him. He turned out to be a real buy."
  • 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".
  • In the televised version, the Navy Ship warns the tugs to clear off.
  • In the televised version, 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.
  • In the televised version, after Top Hat has gone, Hercules' dialogue is different compared to the VHS version.
  • In the televised version, when Zorran comes through during the parade with the Brass Band, the band plays for the rest of the parade scenes rather than the parade music resuming as in the VHS Version.
  • Most of the Pen Portraits in the 1989 Annual are photos from Regatta.
  • Regatta aired in 1989, but the VHS version was made in 1988.
  • The Japanese VHS features the televised version of the episode.
  • A background building closely resembles the Star Dock building.
  • In 1988, TVS aired the VHS version of the episode.
  • In this episode all of the tugs are dressed with flags and banners along their deck-ropes.
  • 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 15 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 Sue Glover collapsing in hysterics. [1]

Goofs

  • In several scenes, a gap can clearly be seen between Ten Cent's eye mechanism and his face mask.
  • Grampus looks and sounds happy when he says, "They're going to blow me up today." when he is 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 comes towards the Star Fleet, 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.

Gallery

Video releases

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 of July.

Castle Vision rereleased the Munitions/Regatta VHS in 1990 to match the style of the other video release covers. Still listed on cover as 4th of 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 of 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 episode was reverted back to being titled Regatta in the opening sequence.

Episode

Regatta (TUGS)(20:00)

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