An armada set to hit Newcastle harbour

A HUGE TURNOUT: Newcastle's SailFest is a popular drawcard. Photo: SUPPLIED.
A HUGE TURNOUT: Newcastle's SailFest is a popular drawcard. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Newcastle is getting set for a mammoth weekend of action - a celebration of sail, surf and seafood.

SailFest, a prestigious Newcastle sailing event, will be held on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11, honouring more than 175 years of salty sailing history and maritime tradition.

The event will be held alongside the WSL surfing titles, which will be staged at Merewether Beach, a seafood festival at Newcastle Fisherman's Coop and the Newcastle Marathon.

The harbour presents a perfect amphitheatre, with action spreading from Carrington to Honeysuckle, Stockton and out to sea.

There is no doubt about it, the waterfront is the place to be.

SailFest Newcastle Regatta will be bringing together an armada of yachts, skiffs, dinghies and catamarans - right down to tiny Try-Sailing trainers - on Newcastle Harbour.

Sailing Champions League (SCL) Asia Pacific organisers are embedding the finals of their 2021 season into the festival program, starting April 9.

Teams from around Australia will compete on the doorstep of Honeysuckle Hotel's deck.

"We're bringing the final to Newcastle because it's the ideal sailing venue," SCL Asia Pacific director Mark Turnbull said.

"We will stage grandstand sailing for spectators along the river where there are a multitude of great hospitality venues to enjoy.

"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."

The other headline act of SailFest is the TP52 Gold Cup, arguably the hottest TP52 showdown outside Europe's 52 Super Series.

"Six of these high-performance Sydney-Hobart yachts are competing.

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

"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, April 10, Port Hunter 16ft Sailing Club at Stockton will run the historic and iconic Cock of the Harbour race (named after the colloquial expression 'cock-a-hoop').

A pure test of speed and crew work, the race remains one of the oldest trophies in Australian sailing. It's also one of the richest off-the-beach events, with prize money on offer for the different sailing classes.

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

For more details, see sailfest.com.au.

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