2014 Festival of Sail

So back on the road for 2014, this time down to Victoria. I covered 2560kms over the 9 days and met up with nearly 40 DeckHardware customers both old and new in the first couple of days. The main reason for going down was to help officiate at the Geelong Festival of Sail. This event has over the years attracted the bulk of the Melbourne sailing community as well as an increasing amount of interstate visitors.

Thursday saw me at Geelong, with a quick visit to the local chandleries before going on to Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Festival of Sail.  I was assisting Ted Anderson in running the Sydney38 National Championships. Dennis Thompson also from Sydney was the Principal Race Officer running a lot of divisions which included the Melges24 Nationals as a prelude to their World championships the following week. With over 300 yachts, multihulls and sportsboats, Corio Bay was pretty crowded at times especially when a ship came down the channel.

The Sydney38s ended up with only 9 boats; however this didn’t diminish the state of the competition. When the fleet rounded the top or the gate marks at the bottom of the course, there was usually less than one minute across all of them, with little more at the finish. We had two good days of 15knot southeasters and then the final day with a lighter 8knot easterly. Challenge2 [Sandringham], Phoenix [Geelong] and Zen [Middle Harbour] topped the podium, but the racing wasn’t over till the last mark of the last race. No one had any idea of who finished where till the results came out. Such was the pressure that both Phoenix and Zen had spinnaker wraps whilst leading, ouch. It was great racing and I certainly learnt a few things from watching the likes of 2012 World Moth Champion Josh McKnight doing bow.

All enjoyed the event, as did I having out been out on the water there. Similar in many ways to Lake Macquarie, shallow water and shifting winds made it interesting. Now that I’ve been, I’ll know more the next time I have the opportunity to go out on Corio Bay.

About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official (Yachting Australia) and is the Principal Race Officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

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