Making up for lost time

Following the cancellation of last year’s event, the 2021 Sailfest Newcastle Regatta is set to continue its 175-year history.

08 April 2021


Set for the weekdn of 10 April, this year’s Sailfest Newcastle Regatta is on track to continue the 175-year history of the event, securing two full days of aquatic action throughout Newcastle Harbour.

Following the cancellation of last year’s event due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s regatta is set to make up for lost time, coinciding with the World Surf League, Seafood Festival and the Newcastle Marathon – a combination set to draw ocean lovers to the waterfront.

While the weekend is set to host of collection of highlights, one of the 2021 headline acts will be the Sailing Champions League (SCL) Asia Pacific 2021 finals which will see teams from across the country compete at the mouth of the Hunter river from 9 April.

“We’re bringing the final to Newcastle because it’s the ideal sailing venue. We will stage grandstand sailing for spectators along the river where there are a multitude of great hospitality venues to enjoy,” said SCL Asia Pacific Director, Mark Turnbull.


“The City of Newcastle is supporting the addition to SailFest and thanks to their assistance and Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s we are rapt to be part of the growing maritime festival for the first time,” he added. 

The other headline act of SailFest will be the TP52 Gold Cup which will see eight of the high-performance offshore yachts compete against one another, including Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban and Tony Kirby’s Patrice.

“Our sponsorship of the SailFest event has provided support to continually grow this festival and attract greater interest from outside the area,” said Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes.

“This year we will see SailFest partner with The Seafood Festival and the Sailing Champions League Final, providing much more for people to experience and enjoy, both on and off the water.

“The attraction of major sailing events on Newcastle’s working harbour shows off our vibrant and active city. I also encourage visitors to explore the character of the harbour’s surrounding suburbs while here for the events.”

On Saturday, 10 April, the Port Hunter 16-foot Sailing Skiff Club, based at Stockton, will run the iconic Cock of the Harbour race. Named after the expression ‘cock-a-hoop,’ the race is a determined test of speed and teamwork, and is one of the oldest trophies in Australia sailing.

Families in attendance at this year’s Sailfest Newcastle Regatta are also able to get involved with a free Try-Sailing experience in the sheltered waters of Throsby Basin, adjacent to Carrington Bridge. These sessions are designed to give a budding sailor of any age the chance to learn a new skill aboard one of Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s Optimist trainers or Pacer dinghies.

Lifejackets and instructors will be available from 10am on both the 10 and 11 April. 

Other events over the weekend include face painting at the ‘Pirates of the Carro-bbean’ stall and a treasure hunt/pub crawl.

The 2021 Sailfest Newcastle Regatta is supported by the City of Newcastle and Transport for NSW’s Centre for Maritime Safety.

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