The 10th anniversary Sail Port Stephens regatta is expanding and moving to a new timeslot in April 2017, avoiding a clash with the peak Easter period.
The revised dates for the fast-growing event are 3-9 April 2017, preceding the NSW school break, with the iconic Commodores Cup scheduled for the first three days and the NSW IRC Championships and Port Stephens Trophy series on the final three days of the week.
The popular Junior One-Sail dinghy division breaks away from the keelboat/multihull series to remain in the first week of the holidays (11-13 April) as part of an expanded off-the-beach and performance program.
A raft of other class events and marine conferences are also planned for an ‘endless summer’ of sailing at Port Stephens throughout April, supported by Port Stephens Council and the NSW Government through Destination NSW.
Sail Port Stephens Regatta Director Paul O’Rourke believes the regatta has outgrown its school holiday timing and can serve as a major drawcard to the beautiful Port Stephens region.
“We’re expecting a record number of entries to celebrate the 10th anniversary milestone of Sail Port Stephens and it’s an opportunity for us to plan our biggest ever program of events,” he said. “With the change of dates, our participants should have more marina berths available and more accommodation options, plus it avoids a clash with other events.”
There has been a renewed surge in interest from sports boat and Super 11 classes, while a multihull division is also set to draw new entries.
The 2016 Sail Port Stephens earned the highest praise for the quality of racing and surrounding social activities, with Nelson Bay adopting an international Regatta Village atmosphere as over 1000 people were drawn to the region.
With perfect weather, Principal Race Officer Denis Thomson had 14 courses at his disposal, including a new passage race format introduced to capitalise on the close proximity of the idyllic Broughton Island.
“Sail Port Stephens has always actively embraced families and friends by providing a huge range of off-water entertainment and accommodation options, and none of that will change in 2017,” Paul O’Rourke added. “It’s just going to be even easier and cheaper to take part.
“The junior one-sail event also gets a chance to grow as we’re introducing a unique ‘Excelerator’ program designed to help the kids improve their performance.”
Competitors are advised to contact D’Albora Marina on (02) 4984 133, The Anchorage on (02) 4981 4975 or Soldiers Point Marina on (02) 4982 7445 to secure a berth.
Inquiries are welcomed from class associations and sailing groups on 0438 653 339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.