Organisation for the 2016 Wooden Boat festival of Geelong is well advanced at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
The festival will be held over the Labour Day weekend commencing on Saturday12th March and running until Monday 14th.
Over 150 entries, approximately 1000 direct participants and in excess of 12,000 visitors are expected to the waterfront festival. The event is growing and has become a major biannual regatta giving the Geelong and Melbourne community the opportunity to see first-hand some of Australia's historic wooden boats.
In 2016 there will be an increased focus on family participation involving, greater children activities. This will include the tall ships Enterprize and Alexander Stewart, treasure hunts, face painting an art competition and hands-on wooden boat building projects presented by over 25 local schools.
The festival will again attract the highest calibre of boats from all around Victoria and interstate to compete in this seventh festival. They will be competing in both on-water and shore-based activities including a Grand Parade of Boats and Cavalcade of Sail, a Concourse d’ Elegance, racing for the Corio Bay Couta Boat Cup, the Corio Bay Classic Wooden Yacht Cup and the Passage Races from Portarlington.
For the first time it will be running off the beach races for dinghies along with a fleet of old classics.
Tim Jarvis AM will be a keynote speaker at the award's night dinner. Tim is an environmental scientist, author, adventurer and public speaker with Masters Degrees in environmental science and environmental law.
Tim’s most recent expedition, the Shackleton Epic, was successfully completed in February 2013. It was the first authentic retracing of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 'double' – sailing a replica James Caird life boat 1500 kilometres across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island, Antarctica, to South Georgia before climbing over its mountainous interior using the same rudimentary equipment, period clothing and technology as Shackleton.
The original journey is regarded by many, as the greatest survival journey of all time.
Some key points:
- a record 12,000 visitors is expected to attend the waterfront festival
- 150 boats will feature Couta boats, classics, dinghies and power boats
- 1000 competitors racing on Corio Bay
- cultural displays featuring dancing and food stalls
- live entertainment throughout the weekend
- new Wooden Boat Festival website
- comprehensive presentations in the Wooden boat Festival Theatre.
- kids activities featuring Captain Jack Sparrow, face painting and prizes.
- tall ships Enterprize and Alexander Stewart
- wooden boat building displays, steam engines and model boats
- 100 year old rowing boats racing for the Bellarine Cup
- local schools art competition
- classic car displays
- Royal Australian Navy Band
- Grand Parade of Boats led by the tall ships
- Awards Presentation Dinner (Tim Jarvis – guest speaker)
The Yanmar Wooden Boat Shop is the major sponsorship partner of the 2016 Wooden Boat Festival.