Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

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 660x82Safety at Sea - Baltic - 3Helm Events 660x82

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Leaders gybing along Antarctic exclusion zone
The skipper of Hugo Boss has already sailed 10,700 miles since leaving Les Sables at an average speed of 17.3 knots. The skipper of Hugo Boss has already sailed 10,700 miles since leaving Les Sables at an average speed of 17.3 knots.
Posted today at 7:40 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 660 miles from finish
The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans. The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans who will be exhausted after racing across the ocean at high speeds for such an extended period.
Posted today at 4:40 pm
Vendée Globe – Eliès in line for Southern Ocean bruising
Yann Eliès was doing all he could to slow his raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm. French sailor Yann Eliès was today doing all he could to slow his 60ft raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm heading straight for him.
Posted today at 4:09 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Phaedo3 prepares to land
Mike Slade's Maxi 100 Leopard 3 is racing against the clock in an assault on the race record. Mike Slade's Maxi 100 Leopard 3 is racing against the clock in an assault on the race record. The IRC Fleet and Class40 Division are getting a savage taste of ocean racing.
Posted today at 11:53 am
Getting Mushka to the Golden Globe Race 2018
When Shane Freeman read about the event in the middle of 2015, he was immediately attracted to the idea. When Shane Freeman read about the event in the middle of 2015, he was immediately attracted to the idea. Within a month he’d looked at a number qualifying boats and within two months he’d purchased Mushka, a Tradewinds 35.
Posted today at 11:07 am
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted today at 10:26 am
Hotting up at the Star Sailors League Finals
Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today.
Posted today at 9:38 am
Melges 24 Worlds - Day 3 - A new day, the same leader - Irish Embarr
December has started with another sparkling day of sailing for Melges 24 fleet, competing in Miami for Melges 24 Worlds December has started with another sparkling day of sailing for the Melges 24 fleet, competing in Miami for the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship. A day of lighter breeze same way allowed to add three more races to the series and brought about major changes to the overall ranking.
Posted today at 5:31 am
Melges 24 World Championship - Day 2 action-shots by Pierrick Contin
Pierrick Contin was on water at 2016 Melges 24 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Pierrick Contin was on water at 2016 Melges 24 World Championship - Miami and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:14 am
Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race length draws skippers
Two skippers are busy preparing crews and their steeds for the first offshore event of the New Year. Two skippers drawn by the longer distance of January’s first-ever Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race have marked the January 2, 2017 start date and are busy preparing crews and their steeds for the first offshore event of the New Year.
Posted today at 3:12 am