Yachting Australia today announced a new name for what was known as the IRC Australian Championship and confirmed the locations of this premier yachting regatta for the next four years. The Australian Yachting Championship provides the opportunity to secure the future of Australian IRC, ORCi and PHS racing, providing the highest quality of competition in a variety of locations.
Following consultation and a review with competitors and boat owners in those categories over the past 12 months, the Board of Yachting Australia have approved a name change to the Australian Yachting Championship, previously IRC Australian Championship, aimed at increasing the profile and awareness of the regatta and the high performance of the competitors.
Also approved was the locations of the Championship for the next four years to allow time for owners and crew to schedule their attendance. Yachting Australia will work with the host clubs to prepare for the Championship and deliver a successful event, meeting the expectations of competitors, partners, media and other stakeholders.
A bid process has recently been completed with clubs invited to apply to host the event in the next three years with applications received from clubs in five States. Balancing the clubs’ performance, experience and infrastructure against a criteria including racing, off-water access, scheduling and location has resulted in host clubs being finalised for the next four years of competition.
2016 Hamilton Island Yacht Club August 20-27
2017 Cruising Yacht Club of Australia March
2018 Sandringham Yacht Club January
2019 Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania January
President of Yachting Australia and owner of Ichi Ban, Matt Allen, is pleased the host clubs have been confirmed, saying, “Locking in the locations for the next four years shows the commitment by Yachting Australia to build the profile of the Championship. It also provides certainty and allows owners and crews the lead-time to plan their campaign while providing all competitors variable sailing conditions over the next four years.
“Changing the name to the Australian Yachting Championship gives it a clearer definition but it doesn’t mean that those who have taken out the IRC Australian Championship will be deleted from the history books, all achievements remain!” Matt explained.
“After a successful Championship at Hamilton Island in 2015, we’ve decided to return in 2016 for a number of reasons. All crews enjoy the superb and varied racing conditions and courses set against a stunning backdrop and the ability of Glenn Bourke and his team to deliver an outstanding event. It also feels appropriate that the sailing community be the first to welcome back the Australian Sailing Team as they return directly from the Rio Olympics as so many sailors taking part at Hamilton Island have been loyal supporters of the athletes for many years. Those supporters include Hamilton Island and the Oatley family who have been long-term partners of Yachting Australia and the Australian Sailing Team,” Matt added.
In March 2017, the Australian Yachting Championship will be hosted by CYCA and Commodore John Cameron said, “We are pleased to be hosting this event and look forward to setting the scene for future regatta development in Port Jackson. This is shaping to be a competitive event and we look forward to a long association with Yachting Australia to further these events.”
Returning to Victoria in 2018, Sandringham Yacht Club’s Commodore Kate Mitchell said, “It will be great to welcome the Australian Yachting Championship to Sandringham Yacht Club in January 2018. We have some of the best racing waters in Australia and our Yacht Club has fantastic viewing opportunities for family and friends to watch what should be some terrific racing.”
In welcoming the Australian Yachting Championship to Hobart in January 2019, Commodore Matthew Johnstone from Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania said, “We are excited to be able to conduct this event on behalf of Yachting Australia, and what great timing to be immediately following on from the 75th Rolex Sydney to Hobart.”
Further details of the Australian Yachting Championship 2016 – 2019 will be confirmed as they are finalised.