SOUTH Australian coastlines will be buzzing this summer as the state’s sailing community prepares for the biggest event in its history, the SA Summer of Sail Festival.
More than 1500 sailors will descend on nine South Australian clubs for 15 separate national regattas between Boxing Day and January 20 with a large amount coming from either interstate or overseas.
The event has also attracted some of the country’s best talent with Rio Olympian Ashley Stoddart making her way to compete in the Australian Laser Championship at the Adelaide Sailing Club.
But what makes the event so unique is how sailors of all ages and abilities are able to get involved and enjoy the atmosphere, according to the state’s regional sailing manager, Ian Leeson.
“You’ve got Olympians coming to race here, eight-year-olds doing their first ever regatta, as well as everything in between,” he said.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the coastlines right across the state filled with boats and people experiencing a real buzz around the clubs.”
The Adelaide and Henley sailing clubs will be the first to kick off the Festival with two iconic classes hosting their national championships on metropolitan waters, the Mirror Dinghy class at Henley and the Olympic Laser class at Adelaide.
One of the other major events included is the Australian Youth Championships, which run from January 10 to 14 at the Adelaide Sailing Club and will see some of the best young talent in the country compete on the Gulf St Vincent waters.
Mr Leeson said although the youth classes made up a large portion of the SA Summer of Sail fleets, there were also a number of senior classes competing, including iconic catamaran classes such as the Mosquitos and Taipans as well as international classes like the 505s and Fireballs.
Several of the events will take place at country clubs, with the Port Vincent, Rivoli Bay (Southend), Meningie and Ceduna sailing clubs all hosting events during the festival.
“It’s a great time for people to get involved in the sport and experience the lifestyle and culture of club sailing in South Australia,” Mr Leeson said.
For more information head to www.downundersail.com/
List of competing clubs…
- Adelaide Sailing Club
- Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club
- Largs Bay Sailing Club
- Henley Sailing Club
- Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron
- Meningie Sailing Club
- Port Vincent Sailing Club
- Rivoli Bay Sailing Club
- Ceduna Sailing Club