2014 Festival of Sails is to be held from Thursday 23rd until Monday 27th January 2014. Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore Ian Murray is pleased to announce that Michael Culhane’s Northshore 38, Weekend Option, is the 50th entry.
Culhane’s prize is having a story written about him, and he enjoyed the opportunity to talk about what brings he and his 38-footer from the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron back year after year to the largest yachting regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.
'It’s a festive weekend that all the crew enjoy, and it’s a regatta that conveniently allows the crew to travel back and forth to Melbourne if they choose,' Culhane said. 'Everyone loves the music at the yacht club and no-one would miss the roulettes and their spectacular fly overs.
'Since I started coming to Geelong with my own boat three years ago our best placing has been a fourth. We are always interested in results, but the combination of the racing and social program is why we enter,' Culhane added.
So was Culhane honoured to be announced 50th entry? 'Well it wasn’t any cheaper than being the 49th entry,' he joked. 'We are pleased to be going again and hoping for a worthy handicap result, and we expect Royal Geelong will order good weather next January,' he requested.
Commodore Murray acknowledged the milestone, 'We are expecting to go beyond 300 entries for all manner of boat and that’s one of the drawcards of this long running event; the fact we accommodate sports boats, trailer sailers, one-design classes, multihulls, a massive cruising contingent and IRC grand prix keelboats.
'Owners like Michael are the event pillars; they bring their boats, crew and families and support the regatta and the city of Geelong. They make up the wonderful shoreside ambiance and provide a spectacle on Corio Bay which is relayed to the world, reinforcing the event’s stature on Victoria’s major events calendar.'
Entries received by midnight this coming Saturday, November 30th, will be eligible for an early bird discount of $50 off the regular entry fee.
Commodore Murray added, 'Anyone wanting an extra $50 in their pocket to put over the bar at Royal Geelong or to spend at one of the many fine restaurants near the yacht club in January needs to get their paperwork in ASAP.
Entries into the 2014 event are tracking over 10% above previous years and with the close of the early entry dicscount the end of November spike is expected to push entry numbers above the 2013 levels.
'We could easily reach the 100 entry mark by this weekend if enough owners choose to take advantage of the early bird fee', said Commodore Murray.
After this Saturday the regular entry fee will apply until January 10th, 2014, and beyond a late fee will apply.
In 2014 the event will host three Australian Championship events; the Melges 24 Australian Championship, the Australian Teams Racing Championship and the Sydney 38 One Design Australian Championships.
From Tuesday 21st to Monday 27th January an extensive sailing program will cater for all levels, with 17 different classes open to keelboats and multihulls from Australia and overseas.
The event will conclude Monday 27th, the Australia Day public holiday, with the trophy presentations and the final Shoreside Festival program of activities.
Notice of Race available here
by Lisa Ratcliff
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4:44 PM Tue 26 Nov 2013GMT
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