For Sailing Regatta FAQs, please click the below link;
Sailing Regatta FAQ’s
What is the Festival of Sails?
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere, held annually in Geelong, with the iconic Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race signalling the start each year. It is Victoria’s oldest sporting event and attracts in excess of 350 yachts entries and 4,500 participants each year.
How long has the event been running?
The first regatta was held in 1844. In 1997, a joint venture agreement between Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the City of Greater Geelong saw the events formerly known as the the Festival of Sail and Geelong Waterfront Festival united under the umbrella of the ‘Festival of Sail.
How do I get to Geelong?
Getting to Geelong is easy! Located less than an hour from Melbourne, there are plenty of options for transportation to Geelong from the Melbourne CBD.
Travelling to Geelong is a simple drive along the Princes Freeway, and should take no more than an hour.
Geelong has its’ own airport at Avalon, which is just under half an hour away from the city centre. Avalon Airport services Jetstar and Tiger Airways flights to and from most major Australian cities. Hire cars and a shuttle service are also available from this point. Further information is available at www.avalonairportshuttle.com.au.
Alternatively, should you be arriving to Melbourne International Airport at Tullamarine, the Ring Road makes the journey to Geelong a breeze.
Daily bus services arrive from interstate to Melbourne and connections to Geelong can be made via rail or connecting shuttle services.
Trains from interstate and capital cities arrive at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station allowing ongoing connections to Geelong. See www.vline.com.au for further timetable and ticketing information.
The Peninsula Searoad Ferry provides a car and passenger ferry service connecting the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine Peninsula. The service runs hourly from 7am to 7pm, every day. Geelong is a short 30 minute drive from the ferry disembarking point at Queenscliff. Ticket information is available at www.searoad.com.au.
Are there many accommodation options available in Geelong?
Geelong has a wide variety of accommodation, and if you book early you will find many options very close to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club – even within walking distance. The place to start iswww.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au which provides a comprehensive search covering Geelong, all surrounding districts including the Great Ocean Road, our famous surf beaches like Torquay (20km), Barwon Heads (28km), Ocean Grove (26km), Point Lonsdale (30km) and bay side resorts like Portarlington (26km). As a snapshot, below is a summary of hotels and serviced apartments close to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club;
- Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong – USE OUR SPECIAL CODE TO RECEIVE A 5% DISCOUNT OFF YOUR RATE - www.baysidegeelong.com.au (Discount Code – RGYC)
- Vue Apartments (200m from RGYC) – www.vueapartments.com.au
- Four Points by Sheraton (200m from RGYC) - www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1302
- Geelong Bay Escapes (a number of serviced apartment properties scattered along the Geelong Waterfront, between 100m and 500m from RGYC) – www.geelongbayescapes.com.au
- Mercure Geelong (1.6km from RGYC) – www.mercuregeelong.com.au
- Geelong Conference Centre (2.1km from RGYC) - www.salvationarmy.org.au/gcc
- Deakin Management Centre – (10.6km from RGYC) - www.managementcentre.com.au (Rate $165 inc. breakfast)
- Alternatively, there are a number of houses and additional serviced apartments listed at www.stayz.com.au
Geelong is extremely busy over this period, and as such we encourage you book your accommodation early. Take a look at the gallery of just some of the examples of available accommodation.
I’m bringing my family and friends - other that the Festival, what can they do in Geelong?
Geelong and its’ surrounds has plenty to offer – restaurants, wineries, world-famous beaches, shopping and more. Event organisers are currently putting together some details for off-water activities, however why not take our survey to tell us what you think would be of interest. Click here to take the survey.
Alternatively, more information is available at www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au.
What car parking options are available to me in Geelong?
Geelong has plenty of car parking available, all within close proximity to the yacht club. You can download the car parking map here.
What else happens, other than yacht racing?
Lots! Over 100,000 visitors will head for the Geelong Waterfront over the Australia Day holiday period. Huge crowds head for the foreshore as soon as the first yacht appears on the horizon and from that point on it is celebration time – celebration of the nation’s anniversary, celebration of the totally rejuvenated waterfront precinct and a celebration to welcome all visiting sailors.
The three day Waterfront Festival is a free community based event with a number of event precincts, which offer a diverse range of entertainment for the entire family.
What are the different event precincts?
There are a number of distinct event precincts, catering to all types of festival go-ers. In 2014 each precinct will again be specifically themed to include stage entertainment, a Boating and Lifestyle Exhibition, Regional Food & Wine, Arts, Craft and Novelty stalls, a on and off-water ‘Come & Try Zone,’ a ‘Kids Entertainment Zone,’ and much, much more!
Can I get in to the yacht club if I am not a sailor?
Yes – of course you can! The yacht club is open to sailors and the general public alike. Entry is free until 5pm, after which a Day Pass must be purchased for $10 to enjoy all the fantastic entertainment and bands on offer. These will be available for purchase at the RGYC entrance marquee. Access prior to this time is free of charge.