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Royal Geelong Yacht Club launches volunteer drive ahead of massive 'Summer of Sailing'

by Jessica Gabites 3 Dec 2019 02:44 PST
MacGlide Festival of Sails volunteers from the Newtown City Hockey Club. Front L-R - Margie Hinett, Ruben Smith, Polyanna Smith, Joanne Murphy. Rear L-R - Steve Smith, Nik Hinett, Peter Stuart © Sarah Pettiford

The Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) is calling for volunteers to help support their 2020 Summer of Sailing program which will see some of the world's best sailors arrive in Geelong, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

About 500 volunteers are required to support the 2020 series of sailing events with the RGYC hosting four world championships which will attract some of the world's best sailors.

More than 200 volunteers usually assist the club each year, however more are needed as the RGYC welcomes the 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 World Championships from February 8 to 15, 2020 and the Laser Masters World Championships from March 19 to 28, 2020.

The world championships will follow the MacGlide Festival of Sails regatta from January 25 to 27, 2020. The Wooden Boat Festival will be from March 7 to 9, 2020.

The massive sailing season is forecast to deliver a $23 million boost to the local economy, with many teams expected to stay on and train in Geelong before continuing on to Japan.

Ahead of International Volunteer Day on Thursday, December 5, RGYC Commodore John Kint paid tribute to the club's dedicated army of volunteers.

"Each year hundreds of volunteers donate countless hours to help make the RGYC and our major events such as the MacGlide Festival of Sails a success. We thank them for their tremendous support and service."

The Commodore said support was needed this summer across a variety of areas and you didn't have to be a boating enthusiast to get involved.

"Having world-class, Olympic sailors competing on our doorstep creates a unique opportunity for more of the public to be a part of the action, both on and off the water," he said.

"If you are interested in being part of a world-class sailing event, meet new people, give back to your community and learn new skills, we would love to hear from you."

Volunteers will assist in areas including race management, crew on race course boats, marshalling competitors, registration and hospitality, receiving the necessary training to undertake their role.

About 150 volunteers are needed for the MacGlide Festival of Sails, from January 25 to 27, 2020.

For the past 21 years, volunteers from Newtown City Hockey Club have donated hundreds of hours each year to help keep the MacGlide Festival of Sails event space clean and tidy. This includes removing rubbish, setting up furniture and cleaning tables and chairs during the three-day regatta.

In return, RGYC provides a donation to the Newtown City Hockey Club which supports their focus on recruitment and development of junior community members.

Peter Stuart from Newtown City Hockey Club said MacGlide Festival of Sails was a "wonderful event".

"The long standing partnership with Festival of Sails/RGYC is a very important part of our operations providing a large slice of our fundraising budget annually. It is an opportunity to be part of the community and be seen as a responsible organisation which is working for the benefit of the community."

"The club is looking forward to the Festival of Sails. After so many years we have established good relationships with many people at the Yacht Club. It is always great to rekindle these friendships."

The Commodore said RGYC was incredibly grateful for the contribution and dedication from volunteers from the Newtown City Hockey Club.

For more information about RGYC volunteering opportunities, visit or contact the club on 5229 3705.

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