The Festival of Sails in Australia.
The Festival of Sails is touted as the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. But what is a regatta and what is a keel boat?
A popular dictionary lists the following three meanings of regatta: a boat race, as of rowboats, yachts, or other vessels; an organised series of such races; (originally) a gondola race in Venice.
The same dictionary gives the meaning for a keel boat as: a roughly built, shallow freight boat, having a keel to permit sailing into the wind.
Believe me, the Festival of Sails is nothing as staid as the definitions given by the dictionary!
Imagine other forms of racing you have witnessed or heard of like Formula 1 or the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. You will have heard of Usain Bolt running the 100 meters sprint in record time. Motor racing is the coming together of a superbly engineered car and the driving skills of the driver, but the keel boat regatta is probably the only race which utilises nature in its entirety (apart from runners like Usain Bolt). The humans who navigate the keel boat are just humans. The water is natural as it is available in its natural habitat at the waterfront of Corio Bay, Geelong. The wind is again nature and available as nature allows us to have it. Probably, the only man made element in the race is the keel boat and there is no engine in the boat. The boat is designed to reduce air resistance and water resistance. The sails designed to catch the wind and propel the craft over the water.
If you are the outdoor type then you have seen nothing if you have not witnessed a keel boat race. The Festival of Sails is one of the oldest races in Australia, having commenced in 1844, and as an annual event, it has a history that is much older than the more popular events such as the America’s Cup in 1851 or the Melbourne Cup in 1861. The first Festival of Sails was held much earlier than Australia’s Ashes win in 1891-92 or the Davis Cup in 1900.
Since Australia is blessed with a fascinating coast line it is almost impossible for any youngster not to be exposed to the sporting activities around the coast related to the sea, wind and boats. The Festival of Sails offers youngsters and oldies, from the ages of 5 to 90, an opportunity to experience nature at its best. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club hosts the Festival of Sails every year for three days with the finale on Australia Day. The club promotes sailing in a big way and particularly lays emphasis on youth and ladies.
Why does the writer use the phrase, 'Believe me, the Festival of Sails is nothing as staid as the definitions given by the dictionary'?
Because the Festival of Sails is an event that involves a keel boat and an opportunity for people to experience nature at its best.
Because the Festival of Sails is an event not as demanding as a Formula 1 race.
Because the Festival of Sails is an event not as demanding as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Because the Festival of Sails is an event that does not test the limits of machines.
Why does the writer compare a keel boat regatta with Usain Bolt?
Because they are not comparable.
Because Usain Bolt comes from Jamaica.
Because keel boats use bolts to secure the boat.
Because both involve the skill of human beings.
What inference can you draw about the status of Festival of Sails in the pantheon of popular sports?
The Festival of Sails is not as much fun as other sports.
The Festival of Sails is older than the more popular sports.
The Festival of Sails is not a race of skill.
The Festival of Sails is not popular because most other countries do not have coast lines.
Can the keel boat regatta be considered a spectator sport?
No, it is not a spectator sport.
It is a sport enjoyed only by youngsters.
Yes, it is a spectator sport.
It is a sport enjoyed only by older people.
How do you think the keel boats move without an engine?
By the rowing of humans.
By humans blowing on the sails.
By the waves on the water.
Keel boats move by trapping the wind with the help of sails.
Why is the keel boat regatta called the Festival of Sails?
Because it celebrates the joy of sailing.
Because Australia likes festivals.
Because the government calls it so.
Because the people of Australia want it so.
Can you compare the Festival of Sails with other important events?
No, because it does not involve machines.
No, because it is on water.
Yes, because it is a mass spectator sporting event, as are other tournaments.
No, because it depends only on nature.
Why is Australia considered to be good for events such as the Festival of Sails?
Because it has a population of 22 million.
Because it has a fascinating coastline suitable for water sporting events.
Because it competes with cricket and motor racing.
Because it wants to celebrate Australia Day.
What can be inferred from the phrase 'it is almost impossible for any youngster not to be exposed to the sporting activities around the coast'?
That rich Australian parents want to spend their wealth on children.
That the government provides incentives.
That children want to show off their sailing skills.
That Australia has a good coast line where sporting activities related to water are promoted in a big way.
Why should keel boats be designed in a particular way?
They should be designed to minimise wind and water resistance.
They should be designed to carry lots of sails.
They should be designed so that they are fit for kids aged 5 and below.
They should be designed so that they are fit for older people aged 90 and above.