Monday, January 26, 2009
"Australia - A truly massive turnout of 423 yachts and over 4500 competitors sailed in more than 110 races at this year's Skandia Geelong Week. Australia’s largest sailing regatta, and Victoria’s oldest sporting event, Geelong Week dates back all the way to 1844. This year's event packed in a lot of excitement over four days, and included a bit of something for everyone, with visits from Tall Ships, Grand Prix yachts, Moth hydrofoils, classic sailboats, and racing on some of the hottest speed sailing boats in Australia.
The crowds also turned out in force, with an estimated 100,000 people visiting the waterfront over the 2009 Australia Day weekend, to enjoy the variety of Geelong Week events. Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 (11 ships which sailed from Great Britain to establish the first European colony in New South Wales), the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia. Thus, it is entirely natural to celebrate the holiday and Australia's colonial heritage by taking to the sea, which the Aussies do in great style."