Denis Thompson – Principal Race Officer
Denis is unlike many of others involved in the Festival of Sails – he didn’t grow up on the water, his family were not sailing fanatics and he wasn’t a ‘water baby’. Instead, Denis gravitated toward the sport in his early adult life and instantly became hooked after finding the thrill of winning and wanting more.
It was the exhilaration of chasing and earning the win that unveiled his taste for racing, with virtually all of Denis’s sailing experience having been of a competitive nature. In 2017 Denis will celebrate his 12th year with Festival of Sails, where he is serving as Principal Race Officer since 2006 after the long serving Murray McRae decided to stand down. His role places him right in the thick of the action at the event, getting to watch the racing up close and the great sailors in battle with their race tactics unfolding. He says “It’s the best seat in the house!”
Denis maintains a strong bond with everyone involved in the Festival. “I embrace all of the people involved both on and off the water because to me they are like family. It always amazes me to see the numbers of people that turn up to help out. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club is so fortunate for its large pool of volunteers and I’m really looking forward to working with them later this month,” says Denis.