Race fun in full gear

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Geographe Bay Race Week winners aboard Medusa captained Franco Pieri
Camera IconGeographe Bay Race Week winners aboard Medusa captained Franco Pieri Credit: Picture: Timothy M. Campbell, Tim Campbell

Hundreds of recreational sailors and their families will descend on Busselton for the annual Geographe Bay Race Week tomorrow.

The annual event produces a $1.2 million windfall for businesses in the City of Busselton, in just one week, through accommodation, hospitality, retail and events.

The race is won by navigating between 20-30 virtual buoys set throughout Geographe Bay; crews sail around these buoys and accrue points, with points for different locations.

The event begins tomorrow, with registrations at noon and an opening ceremony at 6pm.

The picturesque passage race from the Busselton Jetty will start at 12.55pm on Sunday.

Racing will continue on Monday at 12.55pm, with the long passage race starting at 9.05am on Tuesday.

Wednesday will see a break from sailing, with competitors invited to a film showing at Busselton’s Orana Cinemas, chronicling the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race , led by Tracy Edwards in 1989.

Racing returns on Thursday for an 11.55am start. The last race on Friday will get under way at 9.10am before the final presentations at the Esplanade Hotel.

This year, a big international delegation will journey to Geographe Bay for its famous calm waters with many experienced sailors from Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South East Asia all lined up to take part.

Club Marine Geographe will turn 21 this year and Race Week director Nigel Chesterfield-Evans said the event was inclusive with novice sailors invited onto yachts to enjoy the sailing experience.

“If you would like to experience a ride on a racing yacht, go to the Race Week menu on the Geographe Bay Yacht Club website and enter your name, the event is open to everyone,” he said.

“Thank you to the City of Busselton for their sponsorship and foresight. This will be a great year for the event.”

Local boats tipped to perform well include Satchmo and Afrayed Knot from Busselton and Bird on the Wire, an all-female crew from Bunbury.

Fremantle boat Medusa also returns, with skipper Franco Pieri keen to again win his division.

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