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Jessica Watson launches Tourism Queensland’s 2012 Season of Sailing campaign

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Queensland’s 2012 Season of Sailing is off and racing with Ambassador Jessica Watson OAM launching this year’s campaign on the Gold Coast today.

Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes said the $100,000 Season of Sailing concept was first launched three years ago and since then the popularity of this recreational activity had been on the rise in Queensland.

“The Queensland Season of Sailing campaign was designed to promote the state’s fantastic calendar of sailing events which take place between the Gold Coast and Townsville from March to September,” Mr Hayes said.

“The premise behind the campaign is to increase awareness of Queensland’s sailing experiences, encourage visitors to jump onboard one of the sail and stay holiday packages and enjoy the thrill of our sailing events with friends and family.

“We want to extend the appeal of these events beyond the sailing fraternity and see more people experiencing one of Queensland’s favourite past times.

“Participation at a range of Queensland’s key sailing events has grown in recent years with record numbers of boat registrations at the key sailing events in Queensland in 2011.

Jessica Watson, Queensland’s Season of Sailing Ambassador, who launched this year’s campaign ahead of the Gold Coast’s Sail Paradise race week, said she was pleased to be associated with a campaign which encouraged others to take to the water.

“Sailing is something that everyone must try at least once in their lives and Queensland offers the best locations for learners all the way through to seasoned sailors to explore by boat,” Jess said.

“I’m looking forward to participating in a number of this year’s events and encourage Aussies to take advantage of the stay and sail holiday packages and bring family and friends along for the ride.”

Mr Hayes said the season now incorporated seven events and had proved to be a great incentive for attracting visitors to Queensland during the traditionally slower periods.

“Last year’s campaign was a big success, driving more than 13,000 people to check out sail and stay packages featured on www.queensland.com/sailing ,” he said.

“This year we have a range of new sail and stay holiday packages which were provided by over 20 Queensland tourism operators offered throughout different periods in the sailing season.

“Examples of the packages include accommodation with Blue Water Apartments on the Gold Coast from $110 per night to enjoy the action and excitement of the Sail Paradise regatta on 21 – 25 March.

"There are also sailing adventure packages which allow visitors to try their hand at skippering up to six friends on a seven-night sailing holiday through The Whitsundays’ 74 Islands from $784 per person with Cumberland Charter Yachts."

Mr Hayes said promotion for Queensland’s 2012 Season of Sailing would feature in newspapers around the country, sailing magazines, online and via social media as well as eNewsletter and in-club promotions via Yachting Australia’s members.

“I encourage everyone to give sailing in Queensland a try and experience the thrill of racey days and cruisey nights,” Mr Hayes said.

Individual race events for Queensland’s Season of Sailing 2012 include:
Sail Paradise Gold Coast: 21 - 25 March
Brisbane to Gladstone: 6 – 8 April
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship Sunshine Coast: 7 – 10 June
Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race: 3 – 6 August
Airlie Beach Race Week: 10 – 16 August
Hamilton Island Race Week: 17 – 25 August
Magnetic Island Race Week: 30 August – 4 September

Further information
Tourism Queensland – 07 3535 5474, 0426 239 431

*Queensland sailing images are available on request*



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