The Festival of Sails 2012 has been run and won.
Today 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.
In the Barwon Water Noelex 30 series, Peter Kalin’s No Strings Attached raced the perfect series scoring four bullets from four races. Second was Mark Halton’s Maitresse on nine points and third was Mark Holter’s Silver Cloud on 12 points.
Crewman Phil Clements represented the top scoring Noelex at this morning’s breakfast, commenting, 'It was a great regatta, we were very pleased with the results. We found our zone and managed to get the boat going.
'It’s the first time we’ve sailed this boat competitively as Peter has only had it for a short period of time.
'We have been coming down from Albury as reps of the club for going on eight or nine years now. We always enjoy coming to Geelong where the race management is outstanding…we’ll be back!'
The Event Office Farr 1020 National Championship was a first time inclusion at the Festival of Sails for the majority Victorian line up with one NSW entry, plus other owners who flew down and were sprinkled among the Farrs as crew.
This is the first time a national championship has been held outside of New Zealand, were the class is run from, and Australian class rep Daniel Edwards, who also skippered the winning Farr, Fast Company, says they hope to hold their nationals at Geelong next year.
'We put the vote out to all owners and crew last night asking them would they like to have their nationals here again next year and without doubt the consensus was yes!
'There has been a lot support behind the scenes. It’s a great carnival as well as a sailing event,' said Edwards.
'The boat is an inexpensive and beautiful racer cruiser. Hopefully we’ll have a couple more owners by next year,' said Albert Doggett, also from the leading point scorer.
The Geelong Taxi Network S80 series was won by David Judge and the crew of Outlaw.
'We are the defending champion so we were able to back it up,' said Judge at his morning’s official breakfast at The Pier where guests had the opportunity to hear from Grant Simmer, John Bertrand AM, and immediate past Australian of the Year Simon McKeon, among others.
'Being a one design class, it’s very exciting racing. The great thing about the S80 class is we are very competitive on the water but when we get we all have a good time together – it’s a lot fun in that sense.
Pierre Gal’s Sports 8XX, Kiss Selden, won the Illuminated Event Hire Sports Boat division by a country mile. Finishing with eight points from nine races, the perfect scorecard, Gal’s closest challenger was Cam Rae’s Shaw 650, Monkey Business, on 18.5 points with Paul Heyes’ Thompson 7, Foamfast, third on 26.5 points.
Principle race officer Denis Thompson took a moment this afternoon to reflect on this year’s Festival of Sails. 'It’s been a very, very good regatta, the winds have behaved themselves and the race management teams have done an excellent job.
'Numbers are slightly down, but mostly at the top end of the fleet. The cruising division numbers, which are the bread and butter of the regatta, are strong.
Thompson addressed some feedback from competitors regarding splitting the Festival over two venues, Melbourne and Geelong, and the ideal length in terms of the number of competition days and the logistics for those boats travelling from interstate.
'We will look at the format as we always do. One of the challenges of this regatta is it’s based around the Australia Day holiday, which moves depending on which day the 26th falls on. For the next three years we can at least lock in a format as Australia Day will be on a Monday'.
Festival of Sails website