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74-boat record for Geographe Bay Race Week Yacht Regatta

Suzanne AstonBusselton Dunsborough Times
Action on day two of Race Week.
Camera IconAction on day two of Race Week. Credit: Supplied

The Geographe Bay Yacht Club’s 21st annual race week was officially opened by Liberal leader Libby Mettam last Saturday.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Scott Olney, Anton Mann and Mayor Phill Cronin.
Camera IconVasse MLA Libby Mettam, Scott Olney, Anton Mann and Mayor Phill Cronin. Credit: Supplied

“Thank you to all competitors and their families from across WA for supporting this wonderful event on the waters of beautiful Geographe Bay.”

The club this year welcomed 74 boats and their crew — a significant increase on the number of competitors in 2023, when there were 43 boats.

Staging the event is a complex task for Mr Olney, who has six races over six days to manage, along with sailors, officials, around 60 volunteers and support staff, and guests to look after.

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“GBRW is always a highlight in the WA sailing calendar, giving the opportunity for friends to catch up and sail the wonderful waters of Geographe Bay,” he said.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to the City of Busselton, Shelter Brewing Co, Club Marine Insurance and other event partners whose unwavering commitment has become pivotal to the race’s triumph.”

Bringing the competitors together for this event is in itself a significant challenge.

A fleet of competitors for the event sailed out of the Royal Perth Yacht Club on February 1 and stopped overnight in Mandurah. They sailed into Port Geographe Marina the following day.

All the boats from Perth were shadowed on the journey by RPYC start boat Challenger, which worked as a safety vessel for boats travelling in the fleet.

South Perth Yacht Club member Di Dunbar was very enthusiastic about the event.

“I have been to every single Race Week since the beginning and it keeps getting better,” she said.

Many spectators have been taking advantage of the Busselton Jetty as a superb platform for viewing the racing action.

Mr Olney said the conditions had been perfect so far.

“There has been some great racing, and some spectacular action,” he said.

The week-long event also includes some opportunities for socialising, and on Tuesday night, a pirate-themed evening was as noisy as you would expect from a room full of sailors.

The Dunn Bay Wailers.
Camera IconThe Dunn Bay Wailers. Credit: Suzanne Aston

Mr Cronin said he had a fantastic time.

“This is an absolutely fantastic event that is growing, and going from strength to strength,” he said.

“The City of Busselton looks forward to seeing even more boats at the GBYC Race Week next year.”

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