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 starts with a Veterans and 9-11 Reflection Ceremony, honoring men and women who have served our country or were lost during the tragic events of 9-11. The Ceremony includes a short parade along River Ave, headed by the Island Heights Fire Department, and a symbolic wreath-laying and flag salute in Letter Park.
Sailfest NJ is the Rotary Club 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.