Sail Port Stephens enjoys wide support
by Sail Port Stephens Media on 21 Mar 2013
Sail Port Stephens 2013, will be sailed from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st April 2013.
’Hooligan’ - Sail Port Stephens Matt King /Sail Port Stephens 2012
Now the second largest regatta sailed in NSW, and while it competes for precious holiday time with many established regattas around the Asia Pacific, the event obviously has a very bright future.
The IRC 2011 Australian Champion Marcus Blackmore, twice NSW IRC Division 1 champions at Sail Port Stephens 2012, is full of praise for the event.
‘Location is important, Port Stephens is just 110 nautical miles from Sydney and 2.5 hours driving time, with Newcastle airport just 20 minutes from the Port Stephens holiday town of Nelson Bay.
‘Regatta central is at d’Albora Marina, in downtown Nelson Bay, with ever growing elements of the fleet at the multiple award winning Soldiers Point and the Anchorage Resort marina further along the bay.
‘I can’t say enough good things about this event - great sailing waters, superb race management and great event management overall.
‘I think the organisers are incredibly good at getting local support at a corporate level and government support too, and I think that helps make Sail Port Stephens successful. The event has just grown in stature each year.
‘More marina berths and Sail Port Stephens will really be away. The event development is coming along quickly, when you think that the two biggest regattas in the Asia Pacific, this year it will be the 24th Airlie Beach Race Week and the 30th Hamilton Island Race Week, while Port Stephens is only up to number six.
The 2013 event will start with the Commodores Cup Cruising series, then Trophy series, the NSW IRC titles across multiple divisions, the Performance Racing and Cruising divisions, the Elliott 7 Sports Boat Australian Championship and a two day junior regatta.
Peter Gesling the General Manager of Ports Stephens Council considers Port Stephens, the waterway a wonderful asset for the whole region-
‘Last week I was in New Zealand in a significant tourism mecca, the highly regarded Bay of Islands and then came home to a function out at Nelson Bay, and I thought my goodness, we have equally amazing waterways.
‘Tourism is probably the biggest activity outside Defence in the economy here. In terms of private sector activity it is the largest economic activity in the region in the local government area.´
Sailing regattas drive a lot of economic activity, that’s the significance we saw, is that the multiplier effect is that it wasn’t just one boat, it wasn’t just crew but it was the multiples outside (wives and children and delivery crew etc.) that that have shown up in the economic research that has been done around the regattas to date.
‘The return to the community in that lead up during the week and following it is quite significant and very much vital in our events calendar.
‘We have just hosted the New South Wales tourism conference in Port Stephens and the Sail Port Stephens event was one of the featured events. It is recognized outside the region as important on the state calendar and it its significance is recognised at State government level.
‘Boating activity is continuing to expand in Port Stephens and Council is aware there is unsatisfied demand for marina berths.
‘The largest Club in the region, The Wests Group, has purchased the Anchorage and are proposing to upgrade it. Salamander Shores has development approval with significant marina facilities incorporated in that development and that is now in the finance stage'
‘With the success of Sail Port Stephens and other events, we have now formally established an events team and the job is to actually support events coming into the area. The start-up phase with Sail Port Stephens was the impetus for this and now we have a model for other events.’
Gesling summed up ‘The whole sailing scene and boating scene has strong support from the council and the community is looking forward to this year’s Sail Port Stephens event.
For more information visit the Sail Port Stephens website.
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