21st January – 27th January 2014
The Australia Day long weekend in January 2014 will again see the running of Australia’s premier keelboat racing regatta, the Festival of Sails. This iconic Victorian event will take place in Melbourne and Geelong thanks to the continued support of the State Government of Victoria, the City of Greater Geelong, as well as the many loyal sponsors, Regatta and Festival participants.
At the Festival of Sails 2014 there will be 15 different race series competing across the week long regatta, catering from weekend cruisers, to sports boats and trailable racers up to the highest performance Grand Prix machines, the varied racing and onshore action is sure to offer something for all sailing enthusiasts.
The growing multihull fleet will kick of proceedings on Tuesday 21 January with a passage race from Geelong to Melbourne, where they will be hosted at the new Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron Marina. They will compete in a day of racing at the top of the bay and enjoy a layday in Melbourne before joining the Passage Race fleet to Geelong.
The Sydney 38 and Melges 24 One-design classes are both holding their Australian Championships as a part of the Festival of Sails, with their series beginning in Corio Bay on Thursday 23 January, along with the various Sportsboat fleets.
For the bulk of the regatta entrants the event starts with the historic 34nm Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race, which will be held on Friday 24th January 2014. With upwards of 300 competing yachts, this truly unique race has nearly three times as many starters as the Sydney to Hobart. The sheltered waters of Port Phillip and Corio Bay enable the spectator fleet to follow the race participants all the way to Geelong and then join them as a part of the festival action.
Following positive feedback from 2013 event participants, racing will culminate with twilight races on Australia Day, before a huge Australia Day celebration along the entire Geelong Waterfront.
Prize giving ceremonies will take place early on the Australia Day public holiday (Monday 27 January) allowing the fleet time to begin their journey home to prepare for the first day of school and the dreaded return to work
The full Regatta and Festival programs, along with the Notice of Race will be released soon, however in the interim the Preliminary Race Schedule can be downloaded here