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2018 Australian Yachting Championship heads to Sandringham

by Jane Gordon, Australian Sailing on 16 Jul 19-21 January 2018
Sandringham Yacht Club © Sandringham Yacht Club

Australia's premier keelboat event, the Australian Yachting Championship returns to Victoria next year and will be hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January 2018.

Racing will be held across four keelboat divisions and one Multihull division with up to eight races for keelboats and four races for Multihulls across the three days. Held in the waters of Port Phillip adjacent to Sandringham Yacht Club, the Australian Yachting Championship will be a combination of windward / leeward and passage racing.

The Australian Yachting Championship is one of the sailing calendar's most prestigious events and since inception in 2000, the winners list has included such yachting icons as Marcus Blackmore, Rod Jones, Stephen Ainsworth, Peter Sorensen, Bob Steel and Matt Allen.

At the 2017 hosting of the Championship, Karl Kwok's Team Beau Geste took out the title for the fourth consecutive time, following success at Newcastle in 2014, back-to-back wins at Hamilton Island in 2015 and 2016, and again at CYCA in 2017. It is a record that will remain unbeaten for many years to come in this Championship and is an outstanding achievement.

Australian Sailing President Matt Allen, winner of the 2004 edition of the regatta (previously known as the IRC Australian Championship) and runner-up to Karl Kwok in 2015 and 2016 said, "I've always enjoyed the competition in the Australian Yachting Championship and to have it return to Victoria next January will provide great conditions for crews across all divisions.

"Sandringham Yacht Club always roll out the welcome mat and ensures everyone is well looked after, they'll provide the best in racing courses, plenty of variety and off-the-water there will be lots of opportunities to catch up with friends, old and new", Matt said.

Berthing for interstate competing boats can be made available by Sandringham Yacht Club from Thursday 18 January to Monday 22 January at no charge, with prior arrangement.

Rob Davis, Commodore of Sandringham Yacht Club said planning is well underway, "We are always keen to host national titles and we are very excited to have the Australian Yachting Championship at the Club next year.

"January is always a great time for racing in Victoria and we encourage owners and crews to make plans to join us. With the Festival of Sails returning to the Australia Day weekend, the timing of the Australian Yachting Championship allows crews plenty of time on the water at these two prestigious events", Rob added.

North Sails has been confirmed as the Official Sailmaker of the 2018 Australian Yachting Championship.

The Australian Yachting Championship will also be held in conjunction with the 2018 Sandringham Yacht Club Regatta, which will include various other handicap series.

See event website: www.topyacht.com.au/db/aus/entry_menu.php?EventID=786

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