Tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the Geelong Waterfront today to celebrate Australia Day and day two of the MacGlide Festival of Sails, in style.
Festivalgoers enjoyed the relaxed pace of the annual Festival, soaking up the atmosphere along the Geelong Waterfront at Australia’s oldest annual sporting event.
Water-skiing stunts, live music and an amazing aerobatic display from the RAAF Roulettes, were just some of the many highlights from Day Two of the MacGlide Festival of Sails.
Steampacket Gardens, the Regatta Village (inside the Royal Geelong Yacht Club) and Eastern Beach were abuzz with activity as people enjoyed the free music, food and arts and craft stalls, part of the popular Waterfront Festival presented by Geelong Connected Communities.
Penny and Stuart Olney enjoyed Australia Day and their first Festival, soaking up the live music with their four young children on the lawn at Steampacket Gardens.
“We came to the carousel and decided to stay and enjoy the entertainment,” Penny said. “The kids are free to roam around and we can relax and enjoy the food. It is a nice way to enjoy Australia Day.”
Photo: Olney Family – Festival of Sails © Travis Harries, Passionfolk
While there was plenty of action off the water, Australia Day celebrations were also in full swing on Corio Bay as hundreds of sailors and support crew relaxed in the afternoon after a day of sailing.
Geelong boats Local Mocean and Extasea have had a superb start to the MacGlide Festival of Sails.
On Saturday, the crew on Local Mocean, a Farr 40, had an outstanding day on the water winning the Passage Race from Melbourne to Geelong on handicap in their division (Rating Series Division 1). They were also third across the line, beating three much larger boats (TP52s).
The big day out comes just weeks after Richardson and crew competed in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, coming second in division on handicap, on Moody Buoys.
“It was a great day for Geelong boats,” Richardson said of the Passage Race. Geelong boat Extasea was second across the line in the Passage Race.
“We picked the wind shifts and the crew work was good. The boat suits light wind and the boat went well.”
Local Mocean helmsman Brenton Carnell, who started sailing when he was eight said in his 46 years of attending the Festival of Sails, he had “never had a result like it”.
All boats were out passage and short course racing today, filling up Corio Bay with boats from Geelong, around the bay and interstate.
Tonight’s Australia Day celebrations will include a special ‘Waterski Light Show Spectacular,’ from 9pm. RGYC has cancelled the 2020 fireworks out of respect for the tens of thousands of bush fire victims and Australia’s volunteer firefighters. RGYC has contributed $10,000 to kick start a ‘Festival of Sails’ bushfire appeal.
Geelong Connected Communities (GCC), which presents the Waterfront Festival during the event, has also offering even more help, with their partners Harwood Andrews and AWA Alliance Bank adding another $17,500 to the pot.
All funds raised will go to the Salvation Army National Bushfire Appeal, with 100 per cent of all donations going directly to those families and communities impacted by the fires.
To donate to the Festival of Sails Bushfire Appeal, please visit http://bit.ly/2vbVaZU.
Festivities will continue into the evening with Australian singer/songwriter Richard Clapton headlining the entertainment in the Regatta Village, inside the RGYC grounds.
The MacGlide Festival of Sails continues until tomorrow afternoon, in Geelong.