Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

Last chance to enter the Festival of Sails

by Lisa Ratcliff on 17 Jan 2013
Festival of Sails 2013 © Festival of Sails http://www.festivalofsails.com.au
January is known for grabbing a bargain at the traditional post-Christmas sales. In the sporting world the homophone ‘sails’ spurs 100,000 people to the shores of Geelong and 300 plus boats and crews to Corio Bay over the Australia Day long weekend for the annual Festival of Sails.

Entries close tomorrow for this month’s Festival and the host club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, won’t be offering an extension of entries. This means time is fast running out to be part of Australia’s largest keelboat regatta, January 24-28.

To join the Audi IRC Australian Championship fleet, the Performance Series, Cruising with or without spinnaker, Melges 24, SB20s, Classic boats, Multihulls, Noelex and other trailerables, S80s, Farr 1020s, Sydney 38s, plus others, enter here by midnight tomorrow, Friday 18 January.

A year is a long time to wait for the next Festival of Sails!!


Event history

Before the America’s Cup in 1851, before Australia won The Ashes in 1891-92, before the first Davis Cup in 1900 and before the first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 and later won by Phar Lap in 1930, there was the Festival of Sails.

First held in 1844, the Festival has consistently attracted the highest calibre of sailing craft and crew, while being inclusive of all the different reasons for competing, and budgets.

In 1997, after the successful merger of the Geelong Waterfront Festival and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s historic Australia Day Regatta, a new Victorian Major Event was born, the Festival of Sails. For a time the regatta was split between Docklands and Geelong but this year, once the passage race fleet arrives on Friday 25th all the action will be centralised at Geelong.


The organising club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club takes great pride in its role as host of a family friendly regatta with a solid international reputation that attracts a majority local fleet as well as those who make the effort to travel from interstate and overseas.

Start of the passage race - Friday 25th January

Organises are running around making final preparations, competitors are checking their rides are shipshape, the bar at Royal Geelong Yacht Club is being stocked to the brim and the trophies are being polished until gleaming for the Festival of Sails.

The passage race from Williamstown to Geelong next Friday, January 25, is when most of the 300 plus boats entered in Victoria’s premier regatta, formerly Geelong Week, will gather for the largest mass yacht race start in the southern hemisphere.

Without the IRC fleet, they will have settled into their Audi IRC Australian Championship points scramble, the large multihulls are likely to lead the pack off the forward starting line on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay at 9.30am and take line honours in the traditional 34 nautical mile passage race to Geelong.

There will a separate multihull and monohull line honours trophy for the passage race, but no Lou Abrahams Trophy for IRC overall results given the IRC fleet will be on Corio Bay.

Audi IRC Australian Championship

The RGYC and Festival of Sails were granted the right to host this year’s national IRC championship as a single event, the new format introduced last year and again sponsored by Audi, a long-time supporter of Australian sailing.

As always, prizes supplied by luxury German car manufacturer will enhance the appeal for those teams planning to challenge for the national title.


At the conclusion of racing, the winners of classes A, B and C will be presented a letter confirming their prize of an Audi branded Code 2 spinnaker, proudly produced and supplied by North Sails Australia, along with a custom designed Audi IRC Australian Championship trophy.

Second placegetter's receive an exclusive dinner or lunch for two people at either Matt Moran's Sydney or Brisbane restaurant ARIA or Shannon Bennet’s Vue De Monde in Melbourne.

Third placegetters in each class will receive an Audi Sailing Sport team ‘uniform’ including sailing jackets, polo shirts and sailing Click here for further information on the Audi IRC Australian Click here to enter.

Melges 24

The Melges 24 class is preparing for next year’s world championship. Testament to the international standing of the RGYC and Festival of Sails was the recent announcement that next year’s class world title would be conducted by RGYC on Corio Bay off the back of the 2014 Festival of Sails.

Next week the class with gather for their nationals with Warwick Rooklyn aiming for a hat trick with Bandit. Other pedigree sailors on the starter’s list include Julian Plante, Chris Links, Gary Shanks and Kevin Nixon.

Melges 24 Australian Championship

A-Class Catamarans: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=105643

Great entertainment program

This year’s Festival of Sails will be stepping up the wow factor with fantastic entertainment complementing the historic sailing regatta and five-day event taking place off Geelong’s Corio Bay.

Launching with a party for the sailors on Friday 25th to welcome the arrival of the Melbourne to Geelong passage race fleet and for competitors in the Audi IRC Australian Championship midway through their series, Oz Made will kick-off the Festival with a tribute to classic Aussie Rock.

Marking the end of racing on the Sunday will be the incredible Aussie rock guitar legend, Diesel.

Monday is prizegiving day for competitors and family day on the Steampacket stage with performances from Bob the Builder, the Melbourne Rebels players, balloon making, face painting and pirates, followed by some more fantastic local artists.

With over 60 free performances, including an extensive array of roaming entertainment across the entire Australia Day weekend, the Festival of Sails offers something for Click here to view the Festival Guide.


Do you have a story to tell?

The onsite media team will be working hard to sniff out and cover all the fantastic stories and identify the characters integral to this historic major event. A regular flow of press releases to the world’s media and via more interactive forums such as Facebook will give competitors the chance to have their story told and achievements – human interest or results based - highlighted.

If you haven’t already done so, please like the Facebook page where the discussion and excitement is building. Go to http://www.facebook.com/#!/Festival.of.Sails to join the group, have your say and post your fabulous feedback and photos.

If you have a story relating to the Festival worth retelling in the lead-up or during the event, please email the details to lisa@occ.com.au

For further information on the 167th Festival of Sails visit the official regatta website.

We look forward to seeing you at Geelong next week!

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearBIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Lancer Inflatables - BJ

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May