Nothing but smooth sailing

January 27, 2022 BY

Dozens of boats making the final tack towards the finish line as part of the Festival of Sails' Passage Race. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

THE Festival of Sails has gone off without a hitch according to event organiser Roger Bennett and excitement is already brewing for the festival’s 180th anniversary next year.

The Passage Race kicked off the event on Saturday followed by fireworks later that night which lit up Geelong’s Corio Bay.

Paul Buchholz and his Extasea team took home the win for the 179th Passage Race, a proud moment for his squad during such a historic race.

Saturday night’s fireworks display was the perfect way to kick off the launch of the Festival of Sails. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

“All-around the race was fantastic, and the weather was great, and the day as a whole was a successful one to say the least,” Buchholz said following the win.

“We won the event two years ago, but this new boat we had worked wonders. We had constant breeze the whole way down to Geelong and we’re super thrilled with the result.


Extasea skipper Paul Buchholz was all smiles after winning his second Passage Race last Friday. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

On the entertainment side of things, the new venture ‘Gigs by Festival of Sails’, a program bringing live music and local talent to businesses and venues across the Geelong CBD and was a success according to Mr Bennett.

Accompanying the boats was roughly 2,000 sailors to celebrate the 179th anniversary of the Festival of Sails. Photo: SALTY DOG

“The gigs were great as they allowed the Geelong community to engage with the festival in other way with 50 bands involved in the entertainment over the days,” Mr Bennett said.

“The sailors were excited to be back, it was a challenge to get the event going, but the City of Greater Geelong and the State Government were a tremendous help.

“Next year’s festival we will be aiming for a bigger and better event.”

It is estimated close to 200 boats made their way down to Geelong to take part in the Festival of Sails. Photo: SALTY DOG