Please select your home edition
Edition
Musto 728x90 4

Final week of count-down to inaugural edition of GJW Direct SailFest

by Brenda Hoult on 16 Aug 2013
OTC beach 2 Graham Manchester Rick Tomlinson © http://www.rick-tomlinson.com
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is in the final week of count-down to the inaugural edition of GJW Direct SailFest, inspired by the legacy of the 2012 Sailing Events held at the venue. Alongside the WPNSA Annual Handicap Regatta, there are activities ashore and afloat - something for everyone from eight to 80, from novice to world champion. 100 mixed dinghies will be competing for the WPNSA Handicap Regatta title in a series comprising of six handicap races over Saturday and Sunday, concluding with the Raymarine Long Distance Pursuit Race on Bank Holiday Monday.

Every boat will be fitted with a GPS tracker throughout the event with the action screened live at the Academy and via the internet to the armchair sailor worldwide.

The Byte Class are holding their National Championships as part of the regatta and there are strong contingents from a number of other classes, notably the Fireballs and Phantoms but also a significant group of RS300s, Isos and Javelins. As ever at such an event there is a strong representation by the Lasers, with standard, radial and 4.7s taking part.


A coaching day on Friday precedes the racing, a fantastic opportunity for competitors to gain a head start on making the best of the Olympic waters. Led by the massively experienced Peter Aitken and in conjunction with Raymarine this is also the time to learn to really use your Micro Compass to its full potential. Again for the racers, boat building legend Richard Woof will be at the Academy over the weekend, ready to pluck a (willing) boat owner from the water at the end of the racing day to run a seminar for all on how a boat that appears perfectly fit for racing has plenty of
potential to improve with careful planning and maintenance.

For everyone there are the Sports Activity Tasters. A chance for a full session in a choice of a selection of sports hosted by the on-site partners at the Academy. Paddlesports, windsurfing and sailing will be based on the water at WPNSA for 1½ to two hour sessions whilst mountain-bikers and rock-climbers will be taken off site to explore the
natural playground of Portland itself for a three hour experience.

The activity sessions will take place throughout the whole 4 days of the event with the racing specifically scheduled so that regatta racers don’t miss out on the fun with their families. Particularly on Sunday afternoon there should be plenty of time for sailors to have a go at something a little different.


Fancy something a little larger? The team from Key Yachting will be at SailFest from Friday afternoon through to Monday with the J/70, the new 7m, car towable sportsboat that was only launched last year. Stable and manageable across the full range of wind speeds, and with cockpit space for four to five people, Key Yachting are making the J/70 available for visitors to sail every day, irrespective of age or experience.

On Saturday evening a Hog Roast hosted at the Academy will feature guest speaker Peter Allam, new CEO of WPNSA with memories of the 2012 games as Deputy Manager for LOCOG, with a disco to follow. On Sunday the evening meal is at RYA Portland House, home of Team GBR during the games. Next year will see another great new event taking place within SailFest, for which the pilot will run between racing and the Hog Roast this year on Saturday evening. The Will Mackaness Trust Charity Duathlon is a race from the OTC slipway at WPNSA by windsurfer to Overcombe Corner and back to the slipway by bicycle. Next weekend the pilot will be demonstrated by some of the top RS:X development squad … Can you rise to the challenge to take them on next year?

If you haven’t done so already, enter or book activities now at website And a date for the diary, the next edition of SailFest is already scheduled for the same weekend, 23rd to 25th August 2014.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Dubarry 2016 660x82 1Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - From Conrad Colman this evening
I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. Indeed, never have I worked so hard to go so slowly! The problem is that I am sailing upwind in light winds which is never a recipe for breathless speed and certainly not now! Going downwind on a slow boat, the wind pushes against the windward side of the sail
Posted today at 4:34 am
Val Hodge Trophy kicks off Day 1 of Port Phillip Women's Champs Series
Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) played host to Race Day 1 of the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS) The Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) played host to the Race Day 1 of the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS), yesterday, Sunday 19th February, 2016. The Val Hodge Trophy is named after one of RYCV’s earliest female boat owners, Val Hodge, who joined the Club in 1985 with her husband, Arthur.
Posted today at 3:32 am
Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta - Winners announced
Hobart yachtsman Rob Gough yesterday proved he is one of Tasmania’s most talented and versatile sailors Hobart yachtsman Rob Gough yesterday proved he is one of Tasmania’s most talented and versatile sailors, winning the highly competitive SB20 one-design sports boat class at the Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta.
Posted today at 3:06 am
The Bay Regatta 2017 wraps with a picture postcard final day
The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, Chang Beer Race Day, saw all fleet sail a short loop around islands The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, the Chang Beer Race Day, saw all the fleet sail a short loop around islands off Krabi’s Railay Beach before heading out for a straight shot back to the southern end of Koh Yao Yai with the racing boats doing a slightly longer course than the cruisers.
Posted on 19 Feb
Banjos Shoreline Crown Series 2017 – SB20 fleet images by Jane Austin
Jane Austin provided these images of SB20 fleet from Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Regatta. Jane Austin provided these images of SB20 fleet – the largest in Australia and internationally. The SBs sail as a OD class within the Crown Series Regatta.
Posted on 19 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 race kicks off tomorrow
The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds. Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions.
Posted on 19 Feb
Vendée Globe – Roura to finish Monday morning with Super Superbigou
Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race. Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.
Posted on 19 Feb
Spectacular opening for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600
The highly acclaimed Antigua Band 1761 took to the stage and lit the blue touch paper. Sailors enjoyed a traditional Caribbean welcome with the Panache Steel Orchestra opening the musical entertainment, complimentary drinks and fine Caribbean fayre.
Posted on 19 Feb
Hong Kong Raceweek. Asia's biggest small boat regatta wraps in style
It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors. It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors.
Posted on 19 Feb
MC38 Nationals wrap at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
A fast-closing Crichton and his team on Maserati were North Sails 'Boat of the Day' with a third in race eight. A fast-closing Crichton and his team on Maserati were North Sails 'Boat of the Day' with a third in race eight.
Posted on 19 Feb