The Fullerton Building during the New Year Regatta

Just as the Padang was a natural spot for recreation and relaxation, the waterfront off the coast of the Padang was perfect for the sports enthusiastic Europeans to hold boat races in celebration of the New Year. Started in 1834, the Annual Regatta eventually became part of a full-scale Sports Day, involving the sporting activities of the Singapore Cricket Club and Singapore Recreation Club. Although the Regatta was started by the Europeans, it also welcomed locals into the event, which conventionally started with a parade of the vessels, both European and local in origin. These vessels would then compete in the sailing races, organised into two separate European and local leagues. The New Year Regatta was an important and highly-regarded race. Past guests-of honour include Abu Bakar, Maharajah of Johor and Sir Thomas Braddell, Attorney-General of the Straits Settlements.