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RGYC sets its sights on 2022 Youth Worlds as MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up

by Jessica Gabites 26 Jan 2020 23:06 PST 25-27 January 2020
(Left to right) - Elliot Hughes, Evie McDonald, Milli McDonald, Geoff Boettcher (owner/skipper of Secret Mens Business) and Cooper Field © Sarah Pettiford

As the MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up for 2020, the Geelong Yacht Club has its sights on winning the rights to host the 2022 Youth World Sailing Championships - the world's ultimate youth sailing regatta.

The championships are scheduled to be held from December 11 to 18, 2022. If RGYC's bid is successful, the championship event would be one of the biggest sailing events ever held in Australia, attracting as many as 600 athletes plus 200 support staff, from up to 75 different countries to Geelong.

First held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971, the Youth World Sailing Championships is open to sailors aged 19 and under, bringing the stars of the future together in the one location.

The audacious bid to host the 2022 Youth World Sailing Championships was announced last night by Geelong MP Christine Couzens at the MacGlide Festival of Sails VIP function at the Novotel Geelong.

The Victorian State Government has committed their support for the bid along with the City of Greater Geelong's commitment through Geelong Major Events, should the RGYC bid be successful. A decision on the location for the 2022 championships is expected in the coming months.

RGYC Commodore John Kint said "welcoming hundreds of elite athletes around the world this summer for the world championships, along with our other successful regattas, really puts the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and our city on the map".

"We're hoping our fantastic summer schedule will also put us in a strong position to bid for the prestigious 2022 Youth World Sailing Championships."

"Hosting the Youth World Sailing Championships would be a major coup for our city. As well as a significant economic impact it would showcase Geelong to a world-wide audience. Our residents and visitors to Geelong would also be able to see the world's best youth athletes competing on our waters," he said.

The 177th MacGlide Festival of Sails, which wraps up on Corio Bay this evening, is part of the massive 'Summer of Sailing' for the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, which will host four world championships during February and March.

Geelong will welcome more than 400 sailors from 35 countries for the 49er, 49erFX and the Nacra 17 World Championships, from February 6 to 15, with many vying for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Wooden Boat Festival will follow from March 6 to 9 and then the Laser Masters World Championships will be held from March 19 to 28.

The 49er, 49FX and Nacra17 World Championships start in Geelong next Thursday. Ahead of this regatta, the RGYC will host the Oceania Championships, incorporating Sail Melbourne and the Australian Nationals, which start on Thursday, January 30 through to Monday, February 3.

On the final day of the MacGlide Festival of Sails four RGYC Cadet sailors had an opportunity of a lifetime, each jumping onboard a TP52, considered one of the thoroughbred categories of sailing vessels.

Cadet sailor Milli McDonald, 16, who has been sailing for the past six years, said she was extremely excited about going out on a TP52 for the first time.

"It is a dream come true getting to go on one," she said yesterday morning before she hopped on two-time Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winner Quest.

"I am hoping to learn as much as I can when I am out there so I can take it back to improve my sailing," she said.

MacGlide Festival of Sails Chairman, Stuart Dickson, said it gave the young sailors "valuable experience grand prix racing with professional sailors, opening up a world of opportunities for them."

Meanwhile, highlights of day three of the MacGlide Festival of Sails Waterfront Festival presented by Geelong Connected Communities, included the Real Dinosaurs Show and the Stars Down Under Water Ski and Stunt Show.

"The 177th MacGlide Festival of Sails has been a great success with three action-packed days on and off the water. It has been a superb event in RGYC's massive 'Summer of Sailing'," said Mr Dickson.

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