Who organises the racing?
The organising authority is Royal Geelong Yacht Club Inc. (RGYC).
How many boats take part?
In 2014 over 350 yachts are expected to compete across the different race classes
Is it just for professionals?
Definitely not! The event is open to everyone, from amateur sailors to Olympic and World Champions. The racing program encompasses people of all ages and abilities, and with as wide a range of boats as the diverse range of crews participating.
How many people does the event involve?
Approximately 4,500 sailors race in the event, plus over 105,000 more people who flock to the Geelong Waterfront to enjoy the exciting shoreside activities and take in the sailing action.
Do I need to book my marina berth?
No. Lodging your entry alerts us to the fact that you are coming and gives us your boat dimensions. Marina staff prepare a mooring plan to fit (or squeeze!) everyone in to the marina. There is always plenty of rafting up involved, so please be prepared (although this is part of the fun of the event!). Where possible, all the relevant groups of boats are attempted to be placed together.
What is the cost for the marina berth?
It is free for all yachts competing at the Festival of Sails. You are able to arrive on the day prior to the event start and stay until the day after it finishes for no cost. If you wish to arrive earlier or depart later please contact RGYC on 03 5229 3705. RGYC offers free berthing for interstate yachts competing in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart.
Busses for Passage Race Start
Details about busses for the Passage Race start will be published later in the year. Should you require any information regarding the busses, please contact RGYC on 03 5229 3705.
I am trailing my trailable yacht to the event. Where do I go?
Due to very limited space, we are unable to provide launching facilities at the club. Your boat can be launched at either one of the two public ramps – St Helen’s and Limeburners Point. Limeburners Point is the preferred ramp as a fenced facility is available to store trailers. It is situated approximately 1km east of Eastern Beach.
Where can I store my boat trailer?
The Festival of Sails caters for invited off the beach classes. A trailer storage and competitor compound is expressly built for this purpose. RGYC also organises to have a fenced facility available at Limeburners Point (approximately 1km east of RGYC). Those who wish to take advantage of this facility will need to contact the Ben Fels, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club Major Sailing Regattas Administrator email@example.com or on 03 5229 3705.
Where is the Regatta Office and when will it be open?
The Regatta Office will be located at Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Normal Daily Operational Hours will be from 9.00 until 17.30.
I would like to crew on a boat. What should I do?
Contact Ben Fels, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club Major Sailing Regattas Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org who will hopefully be able to match you up with the perfect boat.
I am a skipper looking for crew. What should I do?
Contact Ben Fels, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club Major Sailing Regattas Administrator at email@example.com who will hopefully be able to match you up with the perfect crew member.
When can I see the Sailing Instructions?
It is our intention to post the sailing instructions for the event on the website in January. When they become available please download them and print a couple of copies to ensure you have them on your boat.
What are the Special Regulation Categories for the Regatta?
Category 5 for most boats and Category 6 for others. Off the Beach Boats must comply with YA Special Regulations Part 2. Once the Notice of Race has been issued, please read them carefully to confirm the details.
Do I need to produce a Special Regulations Equipment compliance form?
No, although there will be spot checks to ensure compliance throughout the event.
Who sets the handicaps?
An independent handicap committee sets the handicap in all non-rating (i.e. IRC & AMS) divisions. The IRC and AMS handicapped boats have their handicaps pre-assigned (ensure your certificate is current). For the Sports Boats divisions, we use the SMS handicap system.
When will I know my handicap?
Provisional handicaps will be finalised in January and posted on the event website.
Can I live aboard my boat during the Festival of Sails Regatta?
Yes, and you’ll have lots of company. Each year, hundreds on yachties live aboard, and the marina is a very lively place. There are showers and toilets available for your convenience. If you wish to stay off your boat, please visit www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au or call 1800 620 888 for information on a range of available accommodation options in and around Geelong.
Can I use spinnakers in the Cruising Division?
Yes and No. There are divisions for both spinnaker and non-spinnaker cruisers. If you don’t have a spinnaker you can race in the non-spinnaker division.
Can I enter more than one handicap division?
Yes, in the IRC series boats with both an IRC and AMS certificate can enter both divisions. There is an additional cost though to be scored in additional divisions.
Can I change the handicap class after I have entered the regatta?
Yes, you can change to a different handicap class (provided the boat is eligible) at any time up to the day before the racing starts. Should you wish to change class, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
I do not have a handicap or rating, can I still enter?
Yes, you can enter any of the EHC (Event Performance Handicap) divisions. These include the Performance series, for those who want to experience the thrill of more intense racing, including two days of Windward / Leeward racing. The Cruising Division (Spinnaker and non-spinnaker), the Classic Yacht Series and the Trailer Yacht Series, all provide an opportunity for those who prefer a more relaxed style of racing, with many fixed mark courses and a new Passage Race to Portarlington and return. The Regatta Handicapper will allocate your boat a suitable handicap based on the type you have and its performance or a similar boat’s performance.
Each participant entered in the Festival of Sails Regatta (and RGYC members) receives one included Regatta pass, allowing access to Royal Geelong Yacht Club for the duration of the event (Thursday 23rd January until Monday 27th January).
Additional Day Passes for guests may be purchased for $10 at the RGYC entrance marquee and the Regatta Office.
Additional Regatta Passes for guests may be purchased for $20 at the Regatta Office.
Competitors claiming replacement passes for passes ‘left behind’ will need to be purchase these at $20, and upon return of the original (unused) pass this amount will be refunded in full. Damaged passes will be replaced at no cost (with the damaged pass retained by RGYC). Lost passes will not be replaced.