Launched in 1991 as a small sailboat race and shore party, it was originally held in Huddy Park, Toms River. By 1995, Sailfest had grown so much it was moved to River Avenue in beautiful Island Heights and has since become one of the premier Family Fun Days at the Jersey Shore, now drawing more than 15,000 visitors annually – and recognized as the largest sailing festival in New Jersey!
Two sailing race regattas begin around midday with winner’s cups being presented at area Yacht Clubs. The Winner of the PHRF Fleet Regatta is given The Sailfest Cup. The winner of the A-Cat Class Regatta is presented the Toms River Rotary Governor’s Cup.
Sailfest always includes a 9-11 Reflection Ceremony, honoring the men and women as well as the First Responders who were lost during the tragic events of 9-11. The Ceremony also includes a symbolic wreath-laying and flag salute in Letter Park, and a visit by a classic antique fire engine from the Island Heights Fire Department.
Sailfest NJ is Rotary of Toms River’s largest community fundraising event which helps to make a difference in Ocean County, New Jersey. 100% of the event profits are distributed to a wide variety of community non-profit 501c3 organizations by The Rotary Club of Toms River Charitable Foundation, Inc.