It was another magnificent day on Corio Bay for the final day of racing at the Festival of Sails. Racing got underway on time with the yachts heading out for a special course out the channel in a building sea breeze.
The sailors couldn’t have finished the day in better conditions as they reached back up the channel in a 15 knot south-easterly wind and plenty of sunshine.
Despite the long course, the racing remained tight in the narrow channel, including several battles right to the finish line just off Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
The Sailing Champions League and a great group of young sailors from across Victoria and New South Wales also joined the festival today for some exciting stadium racing just off Wangim Walk on the waterfront in Geelong.
It was the Queensland-based Schumacher 54 ‘Maritimo’ that remained consistent across the different race course lengths to clinch the win in the AMS Passage Rating Series in Division 1. Xpresso from Sandringham Yacht Club continued their winning form to take home the overall win in Division 2. Racing on Xpresso this week is eighteen year old Rain Forbes who has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and encourages others to join next year.
“My week at the Festival of Sails has been awesome, it’s my first one and I’m really enjoying it,” Forbes shared. “If you haven’t been to a festival of sails you have to go, it’s been such a fun time, you learn a lot, I’m learning a lot, do it!”
To round out the results in the Passage Rating Series, the winner of AMS Division 3 was ‘Maximum Light’ skippered by Rick Rogers.
The Passage Spinnaker series results remained unchanged after today’s race with ‘Cartouche’ from Royal Brighton Yacht Club winning AMS Division 1. ‘Razzle Dazzle’ took out Division 2 lead by Grahame Jones and Bas Huibers brought his S80 ‘Merak’ to the front in Division 3. The Non-Spinnaker cruising series winner was John Strahan and his team on ‘True Colours’.
The results in the Multihull series were mixed up today with the trimaran ‘Tiger’ relishing the big reach back to the finishing line and Geoff Floyd stealing the lead off Dave Ruffin at the helm of ‘Kavala’.
The Australian Melges 24 Championships were decided with the Sydney boat ‘Accru’ taking home the title. The newly crowned Victorian State Champions in the Double Handed class are Peter Williams and Matt Turner from Sandringham Yacht Club. It was the local team aboard another ‘Tiger’ in the Guyon Wilson Class that took home the win in that series.
Corio Bay Class series champion is ‘Serenity’ with Colin Johnston at the helm. A special award is given to the best performed Victorian built boat which was awarded to Andrew Walton on his Reichel Pugh 40, ‘Heartbreaker’.
Festival of Sail’s Chair Roger Bennett is thrilled with how the last four days of racing have played out. “It’s been fantastic to see Corio Bay in action with so many yachts taking part in this year’s festival of sails and it has been a real reunion for so many sailors,” Bennett said.
The Festival of Sails is more than just sailing and has an entire onshore program of entertainment. GIGS by Festival of Sails continues through to Saturday the 29th of January with local artists playing over 50 gigs throughout the week.
Navigating the current restrictions has been a challenge for many events and this has been no exception. “This year we’ve really missed being able to include the Greater Geelong community and we’re looking forward to seeing the full waterfront program return for 2023,” Bennett continued.
Bennett is already planning a big 2023 Festival of Sails including a historical passage race. “Next year will be the 180th Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race and we are expecting record numbers, we can’t wait to welcome everyone back including our interstate and international competitors to Victoria.”
As the curtain closes on the 2022 Festival of Sails, the countdown for Australia’s oldest annual sporting event has begun, as it heads towards its milestone 180th event in January 2023.
Passage Rating Series Div 1 AMS – Maritimo, Ray Roberts
Passage Rating Series Div 2 AMS – Xpresso, Ari Abrahams
Passage Rating Series Div 3 AMS – Maximum Limit, Rick Rogers
Double Handed Class – Carbine, Peter Williams and Matt Turner
Passage Spinnaker Series Div 1 – Cartouche, Steven Fahey
Passage Spinnaker Series Div 2 – Razzle Dazzle, Grahame Jones
Passage Spinnaker Series Div 3 – Merak, Bas Huibers
Multihull Series – Kavala, Dave Ruffin
Corio Bay Series – Serenity, Colin Johnston
Passage + Twilight Series Div 1 – Ffolly, Ed Featherston
Passage + Twilight Series Div 2 – Happy Hour, Brendon Lee
Melges 24 Class Australian Championships – Kevin Nixon, Accru
Guyon Wilson Class – Chris Manton, Tiger