Walking on water at Festival of Sails

It’s the first time it’s been officially used as a key berthing point and Geelong’s floating breakwater ‘Wangim Walk’ has proven to be a hit with local and visiting yachts during this year’s Festival of Sails.

Officially opened last February, the 440-metre boomerang-shaped wave attenuator or ‘floating breakwater’ is designed to provide better shelter for boats in the marina.

Aerial shot of marina.
The boomerang-shaped wave attenuator is designed to provide better shelter for boats in the marina. Pic – Salty Dingo

Named after the Wadawurrung word for boomerang because of its unique shape, it provides an opportunity for visitors to walk out over the water, as well as for the first time, providing berthing opportunities for up to 30 extra vessels competing in this year’s Festival of Sails.

Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore, Stuart Dickson said it was terrific to see the $10.1 million key piece of infrastructure being used to its full potential and providing safe harbour for the yachts competing during the regatta. 

The project was funded and supported by the Australian Federal Government, Victorian State Government, City of Greater Geelong and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Sitting between Cunningham Pier and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the walkway includes 23 concrete pontoons with 58 piles and 370 lights.

The construction of the wave attenuator was part of the $21.35 million first stage of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Development, which includes a new Maritime Education Centre Complex and Victorian Sailing School.

Two people walking and talking on a dock.
Christine Couzens MP and Stuart Dickson. Pic – Salty Dingo

“It’s terrific to see Wangim Walk being used and appreciated by our competing sailors and the public.”

“It’s a real bonus for the Geelong waterfront and after the Festival of Sails, over the March long weekend we’ll see a number of spectacular tall ships moored on the specifically purpose-built section of the attenuator for the Wooden Boat Festival.”

The project is part of the $382.48 million Geelong City Deal – a collaborative commitment between the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments and local councils to support Geelong’s continued jobs and tourism growth.

Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens MP said seeing Wangim Walk come to life was a major tick of approval for the development.

“It’s great to see it being used and so many boats here for the Festival of Sails berthed there,” she said.

“Geelong’s waterfront is a key focus for our city and a real bonus for the region. I’m delighted that the Victorian Government has continued its strong support of our city and has committed $172 million to the Geelong City Deal which will unlock the tourism and economic potential of Geelong and the Great Ocean Road region.”

Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s 2022 event will be held from Saturday, January 22 to Wednesday, January 26.

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