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Festival of Sails

Home > Melbourne > Australia Day | Boating | Escape the City | Festivals | Long Weekend
by Julia A (subscribe)
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Ahoy Sailors and Landlubbers
The largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere, the Festival of Sails will be held in Geelong over the Australia Day long weekend, from Saturday 26 January to Monday 28 January 2019.



Older than the America's Cup and first held back in 1844, the regatta is one of Australia's oldest sporting events and is further proof that Melbourne really is the sporting capital of the world.

The Royal Geelong Yacht Club proudly hosts the Regatta each year and in 1997, successfully joined with the Geelong Waterfront Festival to hold the first Festival of Sails.

Festival of Sails
Royal Geelong Yacht Club


Sitting idyllically on the waterfront of Corio Bay, the Yacht Club welcomes sailing and social visitors alike. The club-rooms offer a cafe and a fully licensed bar. With over 1100 members ranging in age from 5 to 90, it aims to introduce sailing to the whole community.

Since 1997, the Festival of Sails has evolved to its' current position as the biggest competitive keelboat regatta in Australia. Combining history with tradition on the water, along with music and fine food on shore, the Festival of Sails attracts many brilliant yachts and over 110,000 spectators as it continues to grow each year.



Along with the sailing action on the water, the free community Waterfront Festival features numerous acts across three stages and plenty of stallholders to provide you with food and drink choices. With live music from up to 30 artists, roving performers, art and craft market stalls, novelty stalls and a dedicated family friendly kids zone, the Geelong Waterfront and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club is the place to be for the whole family.

Click here for a copy of the full festival schedule.

Festival of Sails
Checkout the great line up


Festival of Sails will also be celebrating Australia Day in style. Amongst the performers on the day are various Australian music legends, to a local X Factor favourite who will entertain the crowds ahead of the Australia Day fireworks display at 9.15pm.

Festival of Sails
A great way to celebrate Australia Day


Food lovers will be in paradise as the Festival of Sails joins forces with South Geelong business The Food Purveyor, to showcase produce from around the region. Munch your way around the food of the region and stock up on gourmet offerings.

Some of the regional producers for you to choose from include Timboon Ice Cream, La Madre Bakery, Red Rock Olives and Hot Chilli Mama. Stop and have a chat with the makers and growers about their products.

Over at the Come and Try Zone, come and give sailing, stand up paddle boarding and virtual reality sailing a go. Maybe you'll discover a new way to enjoy time on the water.



The Festival of Sails promises something for everyone and is a great place to spend some time over the Australia Day Long Weekend. Geelong is only an hour from the Melbourne CBD via the Westgate and Princes Freeways and is easily reached by car or public transport.

For more information on Geelong and the wonderful Bellarine Region, click here and plan your Festival of Sails long weekend.
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Why? Fun on and off the water
When: Saturday 26 January to Monday 28 January 2019
Phone: 03 5229 3705
Where: 25 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong. 3220, VIC
Cost: Free to attend as a spectator
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