Western Australia turned on great conditions for the annual Rottnest Festival of Sail. Now in its fifth year, the annual event was held over the weekend of 28-29 March 2015.
Two races started off Fremantle on the Saturday with one fleet racing to Rottnest and the other also going around the island. Amongst the keelboats there were a handful of smaller craft including Flying Fifteens. Both fleets finished in gorgeous Thomson Bay to be greeted by the ferry service who ran all crews ashore for the all-important social activities.
It was a good race between Optimus Prime and Dirty Deeds in the Offshore Race, including around Rottnest, with the yachts finishing only minutes apart. Optimus Prime’s win across the line resulted in a first in AMS and IRC.
While the racing from Fremantle to Rottnest was taking place, an IRC Series was held just outside Thomson Bay. This fleet raced a series of windward-leeward races before racing the Round the Island Race. Racing around the island was close between The Next Factor and MEII until the later had to retire due to damage.
The Saturday night party at Aristos was well attended and all teams enjoyed the fabulous outlook over the bay. A brief presentation was held by the Rottnest Foundation as well as some special prizes awarded in each division.
Sailors woke to a glorious Sunday morning on Rottnest Island. Yachts had a choice of racing a couple of windward-leeward races in the bay or participating in the Cruise in Company – Round the Island.
The yachts who cruised together enjoyed moderate winds and an easy sea as they sailed around the back of the island viewing the pristine coastline and wildlife along the way.
In the Division 1 windward-leeward series, the team on-board Cougar raced well placing ahead of The Next Factor in one of the races. In Division 2, French Kiss was winning over the line but it was Stand Aside who placed first on corrected time. Meanwhile, the SS22, Sanferry Anne was out in Division 3 and having a great day on the water.
To sum up the weekend, perfect sailing conditions, great company and lots of fun. We look forward to the event again in 2016.