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Ahoy Ye Shaggers – Rendezvous 2016

Ahoy Ye Shaggers – Rendezvous 2016

Every year, the yachties fondly called the “Shaggers” (or “SICYC Vice Commodores”) make the trip North for their annual pilgrimage to the Whitsundays and to join other yachties at the Rendezvous. The Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) Rendezvous occurs over four days through the last weekend of August every year at Montes Reef Resort and the Cape Gloucester Resort in the Gloucester Passage. The Rendezvous have been held for the last six years in the same location and there are Vice Commodores who have attended them all. This four-day event is also part of the fundraising activities of SICYC to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). This year, $104,000 was raised for PCFA.

The 2016 Rendezvous, with theme of Parrot Head, saw some 220 boats of all types and about 800 people hell bent on having fun. Some have come from far and wide such as a group who came from the USA along with many first time “Shaggers”.

The Season of Sail (introduced earlier this year for sailors who were taking the journey from the south to the Whitsundays) was a success, with east coast marinas, such as Port of Bundaberg, Roslyn Bay and Mackay, offering enticements and discounts along the way. Once reaching the Whitsundays, Abell Point Marina offered significant discounts off their weekly rate, which was appreciated by all.

Day One kicked off with a “meet and greet” welcome event. Day Two began with morning tea on boats, and then kite-flying on the diminutive islet was held with 500 people flying kites. The rest of the day was all fun with sausage sizzles, drinks and nibbles, oysters, and listening to the Parrot Head FM radio station. At Montes, live music, crab races, boaties’ auction, raffle and meals were on offer, with courtesy boats transporting partygoers from their boats to the islet or the resort.

Day Three saw the creation of “Hands Across the Water” event, where dinghies assembled to form the Cancer Foundation of Australia logo, while everyone in the dinghies was dancing to the live music entertainment from the stern deck of superyacht Norseman. The Parrot Head Party was a hit with yachties displaying their best parrot head hats, while judges were also busy choosing the “Best Dressed Boat by Night”.

The “Pirates Parley” started at lunchtime of Day Four at the Cape Gloucester Resort. Blackbeard and Captain Morgan were pussies compared to this mob! The raffle for the fully reconditioned 1972 HQ Holden station wagon (donated by Llewellyn Motors) was drawn. A happy motoring enthusiast from Victoria, Adrian Ries, was the lucky winner. Other fundraiser activities were held, including a first-time attendee who shaved her head and raised $1,000 on the spot.

An interesting twist was the introduction of sea safety course, conducted by Sunshine Sailing Australia at the Cape Gloucester Resort where participants were able to get up close and personal with flare demonstrations, life raft drills, and came to realise that both a life raft and a life jacket are definitely a last line of defence!

Another fabulous first for the rendezvous was the creation of SICYC Coconut Radio broadcasting throughout the event on FM89.5. Adding to the overall fun was the opportunity to take a helicopter flight around the area that gave yachties a chance to see their boats from above and saw a general overview of the locality, with a portion of the fees donated to PCFA.

In 2017, the ‘Season of Sail’ will mature, with possible fleets sailing from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane joined by other boats along the way. SICYC will provide “cruising-in-company” information on marinas, anchorages, and member benefits for the 2017 cruising season.

To learn more about SICYC and the 2017 Season of Sail, visit www.sicyc.com.au.

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