Festival of Sails – the Geelong Regatta

The longest continuous sporting event in Australia is the Australia Day Regatta in the harbour side city of Geelong Victoria. This year the 151st regatta boasted 300 entries from the Grand Prix TP52 Sydney to Hobart winners, to possibly the smallest boats, our J24’s.

Four Sandringham J’s sailed the 35 nautical mile distance race across Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne to Geelong, finishing approximately half way through the fleet despite their size. Two of our competitors represented Australia at the 2018 worlds in Italy, the other two were new comers to the class with an additional  two J’s from Geelong with a Malaysian charter crew, joining us when we arrived for the Sunday twilight race. Most of the crews slept on the boats over the three days, rafted up together and sharing stories and drinks.
Sailing a performance handicap in the ‘Passage and Twilight’ series, the new guys took it right up to the more experienced crews finishing 2nd and 4th. Once we arrived in Geelong the party began, with great music and a carnival atmosphere which lasted till Monday morning when we sleepily slipped anchor and cruised back home.
Top J was Jet, Scrumpy second and Bruschetta VI third and Sanguine fourth. Racing was intense as always, and everyone vowed to come back next year, hopefully with more J’s  joining us.
Story by Hugo Ottaway, edited by SG