Photography by Salty Dingo
12 December 2023
They’re the heartbeat and the backbone of almost every event and on this year’s International Volunteer’s Day, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club has put out the call for their crucial volunteers to sign up for the 2024 Festival of Sails, coming up in January.
FoS Volunteer Co-ordinator, Daniella D’Amore says each year more than 200 people of all ages and all backgrounds put their hands up to take on all manner of jobs at the annual sailing regatta, both on and off water.
“What do they do? Oh, my goodness, what don’t they do! Everything from greeting and assisting, helping to direct visitors, moving gear around the yacht club, running errands, setting up, packing up, there’s literally almost nothing they won’t do,” says Daniella.
“And you know what, it’s always with a smile. They’re an amazing bunch, who just have such a good time.”
For the On-Water Volunteer Co-ordinator, Mike Lander the volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring that one of the most significant sailing regattas in the Southern Hemisphere is run safely and efficiently.
“There’s a lot to do during a busy and important regatta. Boat drivers, mark layers, timekeepers, race officers and volunteer officials, everyone has an important role to play,” he says.
The call is now out for past and potentially new volunteers to join the crew at the event coming up on Friday 26 January through to Sunday 28 January, in what will be the 181st running of the largest keelboat racing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.
Festival of Sails Chairman, Paul Buchholz has applauded the loyal legion of volunteers who turn up year after year to support the event.
“They are an extraordinary group of people and there’s such a genuine bond of friendship amongst them. And while they have a great time, the truth is we just couldn’t run this event without them. It just wouldn’t happen, so we are always so grateful for their loyalty and hard work.”
If you’re interested in volunteering at the 2024 Festival of Sails, go to Festival Of Sails – Geelong Victoria Sailing Regatta & Community Festival .