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The Apres Regatta - Sail Port Stephens

by Nic Douglass 12 Apr 02:42 BST 8-14 April 2019

When you look at the colour of the water, and the proximity to Sydney, it is not hard to see why Sail Port Stephens, over the past ten years has become the largest yachting regatta in New South Wales with a fleet of 180 boats.

But there is something else that forms a backbone to this regatta that has resulted in a waiting list for regatta berths, with all swing moorings and marinas at full capacity.

What most of us know about sailing, is that the reason why we travel to regattas is to renew old friendships, make new ones and to relax. Well that and the sailing...

Or maybe not.

You see, Sail Port Stephens is a regatta which has been built for sailors, and their families, who are here for a holiday in one of the most fantastic destinations New South Wales has to offer.

The Regatta is broken into two specific parts, the first which has just concluded, is completely aimed at the cruising divisions, and the second focusses on the cruiser racer and the sheep stations chasers.

But, as we are about to kick off the more "serious" end of the regatta today, with the Garmin NSW IRC Championships, VX One National Championships, ASBA National Championships and joining the fray with the Performance Cruiser racers, we all can't help but think back to the presentation for the Commordore's Cup, and the camaraderie that was in full swing, as well as the band "Sons of Beaches" led by the presentation MC turned rock star Scott McRae.

"This is my first time working with the event. I am really honoured to be a part of Sail Port Stephens" said Regatta Director, Jen Hughes.

"We thought after 12 years of running this great event it was high-time that Paul O'Rourke got to actually enjoy what he has created, and go sailing".

"It feels like the time has just flown, especially following the fantastic evening to wrap up the Commodore's Cup on Wednesday night".

"We are now fully focussed on the second half of the regatta and making sure all continue to have a brilliant time. A big thanks to all who are making this regatta happen, on and off the water. We have a world-class team".

The best thing about the social functions at this regatta, is that everyone comes, because their reputation is preceded, and the vibe is seriously pure and fun. This year it is all made easier again, with the three main hubs in the area, Soldiers Point, The Anchorage, and Nelson Bay, the regatta, linked by complimentary shuttle buses.

Tonight, is sponsored by Pantaenius Sail & Motor Yacht Insurance, and all sailors on arrival to the main hub in Nelson Bay will be greeted with free sausage sandwiches, and free drink tickets. In total 600 sausages, and 25kgs of onions will be cooked up by the staff from Pantaenius, served along with their drink tickets while the presentation continues with host Nic Douglass, the Sailor Girl.

For more information on this ever-developing regatta, head to

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