The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has welcomed the state government’s decision to renew its funding support of the Festival of Sails regatta for a further three years, cementing its position as a permanent fixture on the Victorian Major Events calendar.
Making the announcement in Geelong today, Premier Denis Napthine said the decision to provide ongoing support to the 171 year old event was a tangible reinforcement of the Government’s dedication to regional major events. “Dating back to 1844, the Festival of Sails has grown to become the size and quality of event to reinforce Victoria’s reputation as the sporting capital of Australia,” he said.
“This leading regatta attracts some of the world’s best sailors to Geelong over the week of competition in January each year on Port Philip and Corio Bays, delivering strong economic and community benefits to regional Victoria.”
Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore Ian Murray said he was delighted with the Government’s decision to continue to support the biggest yachting event in the southern hemisphere. “We have a long and proud history in delivering a fantastic event attracting more than 4000 competitors and more than 100,000 spectators over the course of the Festival,” he said.
“The Club is extremely grateful for the confidence the Government has shown and continues to show in our event and we are looking forward to continuing to grow the event with a particular focus on expanding our interstate and international reach for both competitors and visitors to our region.”
Commodore Murray also acknowledged the valuable support of the City of Greater Geelong which works with the yacht club to deliver the hugely popular four day, Shoreside Festival. “This event is a great example of the community, local and state Governments all coming together to deliver a sporting and tourism highlight that Geelong and Victoria can truly be proud of,” he said.
“Today’s funding announcement is crucial to the event’s success and we look forward to the Festival becoming bigger and better in the years ahead.”
The 2015 Festival of Sails will be held from Saturday, January 17 through to Monday, January 26, 2015.