Sails : April May 2010
And build it, they are, and will continue to do so until every available marina berth in Port Stephens is full in April each year, sporting a Sail Port Stephens competitor sticker on their bow. Sail Port Stephens has all the right ingredients to continue to capture the attention of newcomers each year, and to entice those who have experienced it once, to come back and do it all again. Fantastic inshore and offshore waterways across the Port Stephens Marine Park, a lively, family friendly social program, a large range of quality accommodation, close proximity to Sydney, easy access to Melbourne and Queensland via Newcastle Airport -- and everything is at a very affordable, cost effective price -- makes this a regatta for everyone. Identified in an Events Strategy in 2006, Sail Port Stephens was officially run for the first time in 2008, with 25 boats -- mainly from Sydney and Newcastle -- investing their time and faith in a new regatta. A large number of them returned in 2009 when the fleet swelled by 160 per cent to 64 boats, and many of the first timers are back for their third year of Sail Port Stephens fun at the 2010 regatta. The event has the Yachting NSW IRC Championship at the back end of the week, which brings the Grand Prix If you build it, they will come element into the racing schedule and puts sailing in the local media's minds with Rolex Sydney Hobart contenders like Quest taking part. But it's the PHS Cruiser Racer enthusiasts who make up such a large chunk of the regatta's participant base -- and their sense of fun really does form a solid foundation of the event's ethos and spirit. It's envisaged that over time, the IRC fleet might engage in the whole week -- using the Commodores Cup for crew to familiarise themselves with the area and the race tracks in preparation for the Championship, perhaps even getting families and kids out on the boats -- like Bob Steele and his crew did with Quest in 2009. Affordable, Family Friendly and Fun -- these are three simple that the management team has stuck to over the last three years, and the formula is working. So as the tide rolls in and out each year, the committee will continue to evolve aspects of the event, both on and off the water, that reflect the social and sailing needs of their supporters. Great regattas don't just get created overnight, and with a strategic plan to manage growth, inject more resources into the event and constantly strive to deliver a memorable experience, Sail Port Stephens is already on the map, with the aim to increase the size of its footprint every year. IT'S A CHEESY PHRASE FROM AN AMERICAN MOVIE, BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT DRIVES THE SAIL PORT STEPHENS REGATTA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE. PICTURE PERFECT The picturesque Tomaree Head basking in the morning sunlight. WIN A $15,000 HOLIDAY WITH MARINER BOATING Mariner Boating Holidays joined Sail Port Stephens as a major prize partner for 2010, offering an incredible trip for two valued $15,000. And one lucky name will get drawn from the barrel by Mariner Boating Holidays owners, Trevor and Maggie Joyce on Sunday 18 April during the regatta presentation. Every race that every boat starts scores that boat an entry in the draw to win this magnificent trip in June 2011 -- and before racing even gets underway at Sail Port Stephens 2010, some boats received bonus entries in the draw for finalising their entry to Sail Port Stephens by the 12 March. The prize includes return airfares, three nights hotel accommodation and 14 nights on board a participating vessel in a fleet of 10 Beneteau First 45's -- with a magic itinerary to get through under the Joyce's ethos that there are always more lay days than races. It will be interesting to see how some boats work out who gets to enjoy the prize, but for those who miss out on winning the prize, there's still the opportunity to go. This One Design Yacht Rally will sail from Split to Dubrovnik in Croatia from 18 June to 3 July 2011 -- check out all the inclusions in the rally package at www.marinerboating.com.au.
June July 2010