Festival of Sails 2013, the southern hemisphere’s largest annual sailing festival and Victoria’s longest running sporting event, Notice of Rce was made available yesterday by the host club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
The battle is now on to see who can get their paperwork in first to be declared entry number one, once the doors are opened for business on November 1st.
'While the NOR, the all important document that will help guide competitors through the regatta format and conditions of entry, is now available online, the keenest will have to wait until November 1st when entries officially open,' said RGYC sailing manager, Rod Hagebols today.
'We wanted to give owners and crew, particularly from interstate and overseas, as much notice as possible so they can book accommodation over what will be a busy time with the Australia Day weekend and annual Shoreside Festival run in conjunction with the regatta, which already attracts thousands of sailors and their supporters to the region.'
The Festival of Sails is continually moving and adapting to capture the sailing community’s predilections and best fit within the Australia Day public holiday period. In January 2013 the snappy four day racing program and five day event, will allow for super tight racing and a smooth return to work and school following the long weekend and end of school holidays in some states.
From Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th January an extensive sailing program will cater for all levels, with 19 different classes open to keelboats and multihulls from Australia and overseas.
A new initiative is a three tiered entry fee system designed to reward those who submit their paperwork early. Entries received by November 30th will qualify for an early bird discount of $50 off the regular entry fee while the regular entry fee will apply from December 1st to January 11th. A late entry fee of $100 will apply after January 11th.
The inclusion of the prestigious Audi IRC Australian Championship (Entries open now) will see the grand prix IRC yachts split off geographically from the bulk of the cruiser racers, performance boats and multihulls early on before the entire fleet reunites on Geelong’s Corio Bay for the continuation and conclusion of racing over the Australia Day weekend.
The Audi IRC Australian Championship and sports boats will open the regatta on Thursday 24th January at Geelong with a number of other state and national championships also kicking off, including the SB20 State Championship, Melges 24 National Championship, Melges 32 Asia Pacific Series and A-Class Southern Championship.
On Friday 25th January the spectacle of the mass start of the historic 34 nautical mile Melbourne to Geelong passage race, the largest single start of any Australian regatta or race, will provide a very different view for St Kilda Beach-goers.
The passage race finish will give the green light to start the regatta’s unique Shoreside Festival, set up either side of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s stunning waterfront position.
The Shoreside Festival will begin on the weekend, Saturday being Australia Day with the Bay FM Fireworks Spectacular at sundown. The festival will feature over 60 acts across three stages, over 80 stall holders and great food and wine, as well many family friendly activities to keep the non-sailors entertained both on and off the water through until Monday evening.
Racing will wrap up on Sunday 27th with trophy presentations for some classes that afternoon and the rest the following day starting 10am on the Royal Geelong Yacht Club stage.
RGYC and Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson took on board feedback from last year’s Festival of Sails competitors and have freed up the Monday for interstate competitors to travel home and local competitors to return to their home port. The same format will apply in 2014.