International golfing and sailing

With private golf courses, such as Royal Melbourne, Victoria and Cheltenham, and three other courses owned by Council at Brighton, Sandringham and Elsternwick, together with its coastline, golf and sailing are the most prominent leisure pursuits for many Bayside residents and visitors alike. In the near future, these activities will bring large numbers of international visitors to the City.

Bayside will host several major international events before the end of the millennium, including Sail Melbourne, the 1999 World Yachting Championships and the President's Cup.

In December this year, the President's Cup, a golfing tournament which comes under Melbourne's Special Events program, will be held between professional golfers and international celebrities, including President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Staged at Royal Melbourne, this will be the first time it has been held outside of the United States.

A total of 27,000 tickets, with 4,000 reserved for overseas visitors, are available. Council is involved in managing parking and traffic to facilitate security and access to the event. Practice facilities and parking during the event will be provided at the Council's Sandringham course, adjacent to Royal Melbourne.

"We expect many visitors will avail themselves of the nearby beaches, excellent restaurants and sailing opportunities that Bayside provides," said CEO, Peter Akers. "While this may temporarily alter the usual 'low key' flavour of Bayside, community consultation will precede the event and ensure it is enjoyed by everyone."

Out on the water, there is also plenty to attract international attention. Port Phillip Bay is one of the most ideal sailing venues in the world. On the bay, it is possible to sail close to base, the water is clean, without hidden hazards and tends to an even depth.

The weather on the Bay is mild compared with other sailing waters and, because of the size of the Bay, it does not have the shipping traffic that infringes on sailors elsewhere. Moreover, sailing events on Port Phillip can be readily viewed from the shoreline, offering a wonderful spectacle for residents and visitors alike.

World class sailors will be in Melbourne competing at Bayside in several events. Sail Melbourne, organised by the Victorian Yachting Council with sponsorship from Council and hosted by the Sandringham, Brighton and Black Rock Clubs is held every summer and attracts many international sailors. In 1999, the World Yachting Championships will be held on Port Phillip Bay as a precursor to the Olympics 2000.