Southern Hemisphere’s biggest sail regatta, the Festival of Sails starts with a bang

Published on : Monday, January 27, 2014

victoria-state-governmentVictoria’s oldest ongoing sporting event and the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere, the Festival of Sails held in Geelong over the Australia Day long weekend, has started with a bang.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty joined Andrew Elsbury, member for Western Metropolitan, today on board the Sea Melbourne, firing the cannon to officially start the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race.

“Open to Australian and international competitors and offering some of sailing’s historic trophies, this year’s Festival of Sails has over 4,000 competitors sailing over the long weekend,” Mr Delahunty said.

“They’ll be cheered on by an estimated 100,000 local and overseas spectators, injecting a significant economic benefit into Geelong and the surrounding areas.

“The inclusion of the 2014 Melges 24 World Championship will also add a new dimension to the regatta, with 26 teams from 10 nations competing from 27 January – 2 February.

“The Festival of Sails is also a key part of Geelong’s Australia Day celebrations as the waterfront comes alive with live music, children’s activities, fine food and wine, fireworks, carnival rides, beach activities and a boat trade show,” Mr Delahunty said.

Mr Delahunty said the Victorian Coalition Government was proud to financially support this internationally renowned sailing event held during the nation’s ultimate celebration – the Australia Day long weekend.

“Events such as these cast the international spotlight on our great state giving us the opportunity to showcase Victoria’s unique towns and cities, breathtaking scenery and our warm hospitality,’ Mr Delahunty said.

“Importantly, they promote Victoria and provide a significant boost to local sports, tourism, and investment for local communities.”

Mr Delahunty congratulated regatta host, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the City of Greater Geelong and the wider Victorian sailing community for their efforts to secure such a fantastic display of world-class sailing action.

“I encourage everyone to head to Geelong this long weekend and enjoy the exciting program of sailing and land based activities at the Festival of Sails,” Mr Delahunty said.

Source:- Premier Victoria

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