Australia Day Regatta and Sandy Bay Regatta previews

Historical skiffs racing on Sydney Harbour will again be a feature of the 176th Australia Day Regatta 2012 on Sydney Harbour
Australia Day Regatta Inc
Australia Day Regatta and Sandy Bay Regatta, two of Australia’s oldest regattas, are being held next Thursday, 26 January 2012, when sailors in Sydney and Hobart traditionally celebrate Australia Day afloat.

On Sydney Harbour, the Australia Day Regatta 2012 will celebrate 176 years of unbroken tradition since 1837. It is the world’s oldest, continuously-conducted sailing regatta and is essentially a regatta for keelboats and modern 18-foot skiffs and historic replicas of the original 18-footers built more than a century ago.

The Sandy Bay Regatta has traditionally been held on Australia Day and this year will mark 163 years since the first Sandy Bay Regatta was held on, and along the shores of the River Derwent at the riverside suburb of Hobart.

The two regattas differ in that the Australia Day Regatta in Sydney, and its satellite regattas on Botany Bay, Lake Macquarie and Lake Illawarra, together with a short ocean race, is all about sailing, whereas the Sandy Bay Regatta maintains the traditional combination of a family community ‘fair’ style event ashore and sailing and rowing races on the Derwent.

Entries for the 176th Australia Day Regatta close tomorrow, 18 January 2012, with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club with the notice of race and entry forms on the website. Entries for the ocean race should be lodged with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

The 176th Australia Day Regatta will get under way when the short ocean race for the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Trophy starts north of Shark Island at 11am. After racing down the coast to Botany Bay and return, the ocean race will finish south of Flagship, HMAS Sydney, moored off Rushcutters Bay.

International Cadets at the Sandy Bay Regatta - Sandy Bay Regatta 2012
Rob Cruse

In Hobart, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Dinghy Group and the Sandy Bay Sailing Club are expected to support the Wrest Point Sandy Bay Regatta, with entries from International Cadets, Optimists, Sabot and Laser 4.7 dinghies.

The notice of race and entry form can be downloaded from the website.

The dinghy races offer generous prizes, including the Thomas Lyons award of $100 for outstanding sailing performance. Medallions will be awarded to the first to finish in each class. A feature event will be the ‘Dash for Cash’ for windsurfers starting of Long Point at Lower Sandy Bay and racing across the river to a mark on the eastern shore and return.

Australia Day Regatta website
Sandy Bay Regatta website