Please select your home edition
Edition
Doyle Sails New Zealand

Festival of Sails - U.S. yachting photographer says it’s one of a kind

by . on 30 Jan 2012
IRC start 4 bows - Festival of Sails 2012 Mary Longpre - Longpre Photos © http://www.Longprephotos.smugmug.com
Mary Longpre is an American West Coast yachting photographer from Newport Beach, California. For the past six years Mary has spent much of January ‘down under’, with Geelong’s Festival of Sails the key reason for her trip.

Mary, a 1960’s Surfer Girl, was photographing for a major surfing magazine when she began sailing in 1978. In 1983 she built a 30 foot down wind flier named Valentine, after her February 14th birthday, which she campaigns with an all women crew.

Mary’s first visit to Australia was for the 1987 America’s Cup and in 2001 she covered the America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes.



Mary has been photographing the Geelong event since 2007 and has again made the annual trip in 2012, accompanied by her husband Bob.

‘I am heavily involved with Southern California’s Newport Ensenada (Mexico) 126 nautical mile race. I run the media centre for that event, which is about 430 boats every year, a similar big number to this one. It’s just one race and it can go on for 48 hours. ‘

‘The race is at the end of April, our spring and usually quite fair. Sometimes we will have the weather out of the south, which means the boats are beating all the way, but that’s the unusual. Normally it is a reach.’


‘There is quite a contrast between the two events. While The Festival of Sails has a passage race it is mostly round the marks courses, while we sail to a weather mark and off to Mexico. Newport Ensenada is logistically quite a complicated race because of all the customs and border crossings and situations.’

‘Coming to Australia each year has now become a tradition for us. Each year it gives us a bit of a holiday and a bit of work time for me, and of course its wonderful fun and great people down here.’

‘Every year we go somewhere else. We have actually been around Australia more than most Australians and we meet up with people who say ‘we haven’t been there’. We love it and we were coming to Australia quite a bit even before I started with this event.’


‘Last year we went over to Perth on the train, it was fun. We crossed the Nullarbor Plain and then travelled down to Margaret River for three days. The year before that we did the Ghan (train) from Darwin down to Adelaide and then went to Kangaroo Island. We have done the Murray River, we did a cruise and we have been up to the Great Barrier Reef, but not at this time of the year because the weather is not so settled.’

‘We came to New Zealand first on this trip, and spent a week on the North Island up at the Bay of Islands, where they are having their big regatta this week.’

‘While we love our own event, the Festival of Sails is really amazing, lots of different classes and so many family activities It’s unique, with such giant crowd numbers, 100,000 visitors. There is a lot that event organisers world-wide can learn from the Festival of Sails.’








Festival of Sails website

Related Articles

Festival of Sails 2012 images by Guido Brandt
Festival of Sails 2012 images by photographer Guido Brandt. Festival of Sails 2012 images by photographer Guido Brandt.
Posted on 6 Feb 2012
Festival of Sails images by Beth Morley
Festival of Sails images from photographer Beth Morley Festival of Sails images from photographer Beth Morley
Posted on 2 Feb 2012
Festival of Sails Williamstown to Geelong Passage Race images
Festival of Sails - Photographer Jenny Wapling shares images with us from the Williamstown to Geelong Passage Race. Festival of Sails - Photographer Jenny Wapling shares images with us from the Williamstown to Geelong Passage Race.
Posted on 2 Feb 2012
Festival of Sails - Biddy Hu 11 skipper wins memory story competition
Paul Lindeman of Biddu Hu II has won the ‘Bundaberg at the Festival of Sails’ Memory story competition Paul Lindeman of Biddu Hu II has won the ‘Bundaberg at the Festival of Sails’ Memory story competition. An extract: 'Then a boat up ahead begins to round up under the new pressure coming to meet us, the spinnaker than begins to flog and look more like a bed sheet on a washing line....'
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Festival of Sails 2012 - Festival Finale + results
The Festival of Sails 2012 divisional winners were acknowledged at two trophy presentations today. The Festival of Sails divisional winners were acknowledged at two trophy presentations, a breakfast for those whose series finished yesterday and a final presentation this afternoon on the lawn of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Festival of Sails 2012 - Bourke wins SB3 Victorian Championship
The shutters came down on the Festival of Sails 2012 this afternoon. The shutters came down on the Festival of Sails 2012 this afternoon. Warwick Rooklyn’s Bandit has been crowned Melges 24 national champion for the second year running after a stunning series victory. Glenn Bourke’s Club Marine Hamilton Island is the undisputed champion of the SB3 class contesting the Bundaberg Rum SB3 Victorian Championship.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Festival of Sails - Georgia hits ball out of park - latest results
Georgia hits the ball out of the park; Executive Decision takes div B; Chutzpah38 victorious. In the spirit of the regatta Jim Farmer’s New Zealand Botin & Carkeek 52, Georgia, has sailed the final Festival of Sails race and with their nine point finish from eight races have hit the ball so far out of the park it may never be found.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Festival of Sails - Variety families try sailing
The partnership between the Festival of Sails and Variety, the Children’s Charity is giving disadvantaged and special ne The partnership between the Festival of Sails and Variety, the Children’s Charity is giving disadvantaged and special needs children the chance to taste a little of what is going on further out in Corio Bay.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Melges 24 Australian Championships day 3 - Melges mix it up
Melges 24 Australian Championships fleet was back in Corio Bay for day three of racing. Melges 24 Australian Championships fleet was back in Corio Bay for day three of racing. Hot sun and a light to moderate South Easterly breeze set the scene for three windward leeward races. The fleet seem to get closer together the more races they complete.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
Festival of Sails 2012 - Families meld in Melges
The Melges 24s are contesting their nationals at the Festival of Sails at Geelong The Melges 24s are contesting their nationals at the Festival of Sails at Geelong and multiple family combinations are sailing for and against each other.
Posted on 29 Jan 2012
T Clewring One DesignNaiadBarz Optics - Floaters