The Festival of Sails Executive Committee and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club Board have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Festival of Sails, which was scheduled for Saturday 23 – Tuesday 26 January, 2021.
Cancelling this important event on the Australian sailing calendar was a difficult but necessary decision, owing to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact on the health and safety of competitors and members of the community.
As Chairman of the Festival of Sails, I would like to advise that the Committee has worked very hard with all our event stakeholders to understand all logistics, safety, risk and financial considerations prior to reaching this decision. I am sure the decision to cancel the 2021 Festival of Sails will be sad news for everyone who has participated in or enjoyed the event in the past.
As a fellow Sailor and RGYC member, I am proud that we host the largest and oldest keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. We celebrate the event that has run over the past 177 years and I am confident that with your ongoing support, it will continue to be the well-loved and iconic event on your sailing calendar going forward.
Rich in history and innovation, I ask you to reserve a timeslot in their calendar for 2022 edition of the event.
Whilst the Festival of Sails has been cancelled for 2021, the passage race – a key component of the event – could potentially be run in a modified form, with COVID-19 restrictions permitting.
The Festival of Sails Committee and the RGYC Board are committed to ensuring the event continues to be a “must do event” on the Australian sailing calendar.
I thank you for your understanding and support in navigating these challenging times, and together, we can look forward to the return of a bigger and better Festival of Sails in 2022.
RGYC Vice Commodore Roger Bennett
Festival of Sails Chairman