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Festival Of Sails 2018

Home > Melbourne > Beaches | Day Trips | Escape the City | Festivals | Long Weekend
by Ian Gill (subscribe)
I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Event: -
Geelong Sail Spectacular
The Australia Day long weekend is one of those public holidays where we can usually rely on good weather coming to the party, hot and sunny with no better place to spend it than on the water.

Victoria Melbourne Geelong Festival Festivals Sail Sails Sailing Yacht Yachts Yachting Racing Entertainment Great Day Out Family Fun
Geelong's fabulous waterfront precinct will come alive over the Australia Day Long-weekend for the annual Festival of Sails. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


The 175th annual Festival of Sails event will be held this Australia Day weekend from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th January 2018, the State's longest, continuously running sporting event and the largest annual keel-boat regatta staged anywhere in the southern hemisphere.

The Geelong foreshore and Corio Bay come to life in a spectacular blaze of colour as hundreds of yachts and their crews come together for 3 days of exciting sailing all kicked-off by the traditional Melbourne Geelong Passage Race.

Victoria Melbourne Geelong Festival Festivals Sail Sails Sailing Yacht Yachts Yachting Racing Entertainment Great Day Out Family Fun
There'll be action aplenty on the water as hundred of boats and thousands of sailors contest one of Australia's premier keel-boat competitions. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


At 9 AM on Friday 26th January some 300 yachts will make spectacular viewing as they set off from the top end of the Bay to race to Geelong.

Once in Geelong there'll be a further two days of competition held just off-shore in Corio Bay,

While the sailors are in action on the water the free community Waterfront Festival will feature a variety of acts across three stages and a large number of stalls will provide visitors with fine food & wine, arts & craft and novelties. There'll be plenty of live entertainment provided both on stage and by roving performers.

Victoria Melbourne Geelong Festival Festivals Sail Sails Sailing Yacht Yachts Yachting Racing Entertainment Great Day Out Family Fun
Think you might like to sail? Get on down to the Come and Try Zone and let the experts get you started. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


An 'on-water' Come and Try Zone will be a feature for those who want to learn a bit about sailing and a family-friendly Kids Zone on the waterfront and in the Geelong Yacht Club will provide heaps of fun and excitement for the youngsters.

Victoria Melbourne Geelong Festival Festivals Sail Sails Sailing Yacht Yachts Yachting Racing Entertainment Great Day Out Family Fun
Make sure you get down to Geelong for the annual Festival of Sails and say hello to a sailor. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank


Getting There

Geelong is just an hour's drive from Melbourne via the Westgate and Princes Freeways.

VLine operate regular train services between Melbourne (Southern Cross) and Geelong, the trip taking just 1 hour.

If you're travelling from the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay the Peninsula SeaRoad Ferry could be a viable option for you. With hourly departures from Sorrento to Queenscliff the 40-minute trip is a great opportunity to sit back, relax and avoid any traffic hassles.

This Australia Day jibe or tack your way to Geelong for a fabulous and FREE Festival of Sails.

Victoria Melbourne Geelong Festival Festivals Sail Sails Sailing Yacht Yachts Yachting Racing Entertainment Great Day Out Family Fun
This Australia Day Long Weekend everyone will be racing to Geelong for the annual Festival of Sails. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank

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Why? Take in the spectacle of an armada of sail boats on the water while enjoying all the fun of the fair, great family-friendly activities and loads of entertainment on shore.
When: The Australia Day Long Weekend Friday 26th to Sunday 28th January
Phone: (03) 5229 3705
Where: Geelong Foreshore and Royal Geelong Yacht Club
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
Sounds like a great event Ian!
by Chloe Doyle (score: 3|1347) 168 days ago
That this festival has been running for 175 years makes it rather special before it even stats.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6147) 122 days ago
Beautiful photos Ian.
by May Cross (score: 3|2184) 172 days ago
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