Welcome from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
It is my great pleasure to welcome competitors and spectators to the 2020 Festival of Sails.
Founded in 1844, the festival has grown to become the largest keel boat regatta in the southern hemisphere and is an iconic feature on Geelong’s major events calendar.
More than 300 yachts and 3,000 competitors will take part in one of the nation’s oldest sporting events.
The Andrews Labor Government is proud to support this Australia Day long weekend favourite through the $20 million Regional Events Fund.
The Regional Events Fund has supported more than 200 events, bringing competitors, officials and supporters to our communities and inspiring more people to stay active and healthy through sport and recreation.
We’re also backing Geelong by providing $7.5 million towards the $19 million Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project, which will improve public access to the area.
The project will also bolster the future of the Festival of Sails by making major improvements on-water and providing a new on-shore facility for the Victorian Sailing School and Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
The Festival of Sails has something for everyone, from family-friendly activities and live music to all the sailing action on the bay.
It will showcase the Geelong foreshore to the world, just as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will do in a few days’ time.
To the competitors, all the best out on Corio Bay and to everyone else, happy viewing.
The Hon Martin Pakula MP
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events
ABOUT FESTIVAL OF SAILS
Geelong’s historic Festival of Sails will celebrate its 177th anniversary this summer, with the three-day regatta running from Saturday, January 25th to Monday, January 27th, 2020.
The Festival of Sails combines history with tradition; heritage with technology; tactics with teamwork; while entertainment and fine food waft across the ocean from a festival of shore based entertainment.
As Australia’s oldest annual sporting event, sailing crews from around Australia and overseas head to the city of Geelong for brilliant flatwater racing in a reliable summer sea breeze.
The three-day racing schedule in 2020 will include a new two-handed division comprising of four races, including the traditional opening Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race, Australia’s largest mass yacht race, start off Williamstown to the north of Port Phillip. Then there’s the usual spectrum of divisions to cater for owners of sports boats, J111s, S80s, Etchells, cruising keelboats with spinnaker, cruising keelboats without spinnakers, cruising AMS and multihulls.
The Festival of Sails attracts tens of thousands of people to enjoy the Australia Day festivities along the Geelong Waterfront, with the 2020 event returning to Steampacket Gardens to ensure an even bigger focus on family entertainment and on-water activities.
The Australian Citizenship ceremony is also conducted at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club during the Festival of Sails Australia Day weekend.
With live music, market stalls, roving entertainers, food trucks, FREE family friendly activities and the Discover Sailing program, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a sailor or a spectator looking for some fun with the family, there is no better place to be than the Festival Of Sails on Geelong’s waterfront in January.