Sail Port Stephens
Port Stephens, it’s the perfect holiday and sailing destination. Just an easy 2½ hours drive north of Sydney with a choice of 26 beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping, whale & dolphin watching and much much more…. there’s something for everyone in Port Stephens.
Sail Port Stephens 2016 will be held from the 11th – 17th April 2016
MEDIA RELEASE: SPS aiming to be biggest and best
Sail Port Stephens, a yachting festival inspired by the legendary Hawaiian-shirted Caribbean and Mediterranean race weeks, is on a mission to become one of Australia’s biggest sailing regattas … as well as one of its best.
Regatta organisers are extending the welcome mat to everything from Optimists to offshore multihulls and bluewater racing yachts as the family-friendly regatta provides an all-inclusive blend of grand-prix yachting, cruising-oriented activities and off-the-beach sailing. The 200-entry milestone is targeted for the 2016 event, which coincides with the NSW April school holidays (April 11-17).
Jewel in the crown is the NSW IRC Championship, which attracts an all-star fleet. The prestigious Port Stephens Trophy is contested under Performance Handicap and open to racing and cruising yachts, along with multihulls. Many of the current Sydney-Hobart contenders will be dusting themselves off for a taste of warm-weather sailing closer to home.
In 2016 a Broughton Island passage race is set to be added to the mix for the first time.
For the first three days of the week-long regatta, pleasure yachts come out to play for the Commodores Cup. Sail Port Stephens also offers a Junior Off-the-Beach One-Sail series for competitors aged under 18 to broaden the regatta’s appeal for families and encourage junior sailing in the area.
Destination-wise, Port Stephens is an easy day’s sail from the Sydney/Pittwater sailing hub and a leisurely drive/flight from the east coast capitals. The region is world renowned for its marine beauty, biodiversity and temperate climate. It enjoys a rich variety of accommodation, entertainment and eating options, making Sail Port Stephens a relaxed, affordable and convenient way for sailors and their families to celebrate the official end of the club/ class racing season. The Saturday night party is the perfect tonic to cap off a great season.
“Think hard, fast and high-quality fleet racing on sparkling blue waters. Think end-of-season celebrations with barefeet on golden sand, barbecues and a band playing,” Sail Port Stephens promotions manager Mark Rothfield said. “With a full gamut of racing styles and all the onshore fun of the classic race weeks, it’s fast becoming a pivotal sailing event in NSW. We see enormous potential to grow the regatta numbers ahead of the 10th anniversary … it’s not too late this year if classes and sponsors are keen to join the fun.”