Festival of Sails organisers are expecting the celebration of the 175th staging of the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race to be a bumper event, with entries already on track to exceed 300 for the 2018 event.
With the close of the early bird entry offer at midnight on November 30, the number of registered entries is currently sitting at a very impressive 164 boats.
“This is the most number of entries we have had at the close of our early bird offer in years,” said Festival of Sails Chairman Peter Alexander.
“We’re delighted to see that our participants are clearly looking forward to being in Geelong for the Australia Day weekend and excited about the three-day format of racing.
“We’ve listened to what the sailors want and we’re more confident than ever that in January 2018 we will deliver a fantastic weekend of racing.”
The 175th regatta kicks off with the visually spectacular celebration of the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race on Australia Day – Friday, January 26.
“We’ve planned a great celebration on Friday night, and we are making sure that our heritage as well as our future is recognised and celebrated,” said Alexander.
“As the oldest sporting event in Victoria and one of the oldest in Australia, we hope that all of our competitors can enjoy the festivities planned across the entire weekend.”
The Regatta Village precinct will again be a hub of activity for sailors and public alike, with entry to the area free for all patrons, although wristbands are required to enter the area after 5pm.
“We’re excited to be marking 175 years of this headline event and we’re committed to making it a memorable celebration for everyone,” said Mr Alexander.
Headline performers and acts for the Friday and Saturday night festivities are expected to be announced before Christmas.