Modern and classic yachts and Sydney's famous 18-footers and historical replicas, will sail on Sydney Harbour today to mark 168th anniversary of Australia Day Regatta
The 168th Australia Day Regatta, the world’s oldest continuous sailing regatta, will be sailed on Sydney Harbour today to mark Australia’s National Day.
Appropriately for a nation surrounded by sea and founded and developed by seafarers, the regatta is the focal point of celebrations originally held to mark the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.
Modern and classic yachts and Sydney’s famous 18-footers and historical replicas, will sail on Sydney Harbour while many of Australia’s leading ocean racing yachts will race offshore to Botany Bay and return. There, they will round a buoy not far from where Captain James Cook first landed in 1770, and where the First Fleet initially anchored before sailing a few miles north to the more favourable Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour).
Returning to Sydney, the ocean racers, which include maxi yachts Nicorette, Brindabella and Grundig, will finish off Sydney’s famous landmark, the Opera House.
Smaller craft, dinghies, skiffs, catamarans and small keel yachts will race on waterways along the New South Wales coast on Australia Day. In total, some 450 boats are expected to compete in races organised by the 168th Australia Day Regatta, headed by renowned yachtsman Sir James Hardy, a former America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup, Olympic representative and World Champion sailor.
Australia Day 2004 on Sydney Harbour will be highlighted by the 168th Australia Day Regatta but there will also be a Surfboard Challenge, a Ferrython (a colourful race between highly decorated harbour ferries), a Tall Ships Race, Jazz on the Water and, above the Harbour, spectacular fly-pasts by FA-18 jet fighters, aerobatics and army parachute jumps in the harbour.