The Festival of Sails is Victoria’s oldest sporting trophy. This year’s 170th edition has attracted more than 300 entries and near to 3,000 sailors from every Australian state and territory.
This year the sailing component of the Festival has been broken into two:
- The grand prix series, the 2013 Audi IRC Australian Championship, will open the Festival and keep the IRC division at Geelong for the duration of their four-day battle, Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th.
- Sports boats including the Melges 24s and 32s and SB20s, plus the A-Class catamarans will also commence their series on Thursday at Geelong
- The passage race on Friday will open proceedings for the bulk of participants, followed by two days’ racing on Corio Bay for them over the Australia Day long weekend.
Racing for all divisions other than the International Cadets will finish Sunday afternoon, January 27th. Monday January 28th marks the trophy presentation and Festival close.
A shoreside family program of entertainment and activities, which brings 100,000 people to Geelong’s waterfront, combined with the premier sailing regatta stamps the Festival of Sails as a major Victorian event.
This coming Friday morning, the keystone of the annual Festival of Sails yachting regatta, the Williamstown to Geelong passage race, will get underway off Point Ormond, Elwood, when up to 250 boats will set off in a blaze of colour from the start line.
This is the largest single start of a yacht race in the southern hemisphere.
Following Thursday’s expected scorching temperatures, Friday’s forecast is for strong south-westerly breezes, which should provide plenty of action at the start and as the fleet heads across Port Phillip Bay to Geelong.
Festival of Sails 2013
by Lisa Ratcliff
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6:23 AM Wed 23 Jan 2013GMT
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