The vestiges of a tropical storm proved enough Wednesday to delay the Royal St. John's Regatta and the civic holiday that goes with it in St. John's.

The Regatta committee— which has the rare distinction of being a non-elected body that can declare a public holiday— decided early Wednesday that the forecast spelled too much rain and wind.

About 20 millimetres of rain fell on St. John's overnight, with significantly more expected during the day.

Tropical storm Chantal brought much more rain to other communities on Newfoundland, with Argentia— about 135 kilometres southwest of St. John's— recording 85 millimetres of rain over just six hours.

By comparison, St. John's was spared, although the forecast for Wednesday made for terrible conditions for the rowing teams, which favour cool temperatures and no winds.

As much as 50 millimetres of rain were forecast to fall on Quidi Vidi Lake, in the east end of St. John's, over the day.

Charles Cook, the captain of the course, told CBC News that it did not take long for the committee to make its decision.

"We're looking forward to tomorrow's forecast, which is tremendously better. Tomorrow, there's very little wind …and the rain is non-existent," Cook told CBC News.

Cook added that the committee will still be dependent on the vagaries of the weather when assessing the situation at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.

"The weather changes just by changing your back," Cook said.

The Royal Newfoundland Regatta, one of the oldest continuous sporting events in North America, draws dozens of rowers and tens of thousands of spectators, many of whom come not for the sport but for the concessions, games of chance and attractions by the side of Quidi Vidi Lake.

The delay means that Wednesday is a working day in St. John's. If the committee proceeds with races on Thursday, a paid holiday will be declared— a unique element of the annual event, which is in its 189th running this year.