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SICYC Season of Sail 2018

SICYC Season of Sail 2018

The Shag Islet Cruise Yacht Club (SICYC) is currently hosting their inaugural Season of Sail, which is a club cruise along the east coast of Australia.

The concept is a long-distance sail in the company of other SICYC members, arriving at select ports of New South Wales and Queensland, where they are being hosted by local SICYC Vice Commodores, and welcomed with boating events and festivities. The ultimate destination of the sailing group is the Whitsundays for the annual SICYC Rendezvous at Shag Islet in late August.

In mid-April, member boats from the ports further south converged on beautiful Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, where they were hosted by Geoff and Ellen King in cooperation with the other local Vice Commodores. They created a memorable programme of activities to introduce the group to the local waterways. There was a welcome lunch at Club Catalina with participating yachts anchored at Styles Point, followed by a lake sail to a lakeside park for a picnic BBQ lunch. The fleet then went on to anchor at Wangi Wangi. The local Vice Commodores then assisted with ground transport to shop for provisions with the crew members, as well as fuel requirements of the vessels.

The second stage of the Season of Sail was underway with the boats travelling north to the ports of northern New South Wales, eventually reaching IIuka where they joined in the SICYC Classic Clarence Cruise on the mighty Clarence River, situated in the Northern Rivers district. Glad and Rick Smith, who provided local information and historical relevance of each landmark, hosted the six-day Clarence Cruise. The fleet stopped at townships along the extensive river, including Harwood, where the bridge was raised to allow the sailing fleet to pass. They travelled further upstream to Maclean, Lawrence, Brushgrove, and to the regional city of Grafton. On the return journey, the fleet stopped at Ulmarra before heading back to the ocean, through Yamba.

By mid-May, the Season of Sail fleet had arrived on the Gold Coast and were greeted by SICYC members Debbie and Derek Anderson aboard their 46ft Sea Ranger anchored at the Marine Stadium. Debbie and Derek were awaiting the arrival of the boats to provide local assistance. In true Gold Coast style, Ronnie Lee and other local Vice Commodores threw an “Anchor Up and Party” event at the Southport VMR facility. Over 100 SICYC members were in attendance, dressed in nautical theme for the outrageous event, where spit roast meals were served and the dance party went on into the night. In the proceeding days, the fleet made their way to Couran Cove and Southport Yacht Club’s DUX on South Stradbroke Island.

The boats have been heading north, exploring various ports and anchorages along the east coast of Australia, before arriving at the Whitsundays for this year’s SICYC Rendezvous. The Rendezvous will be held on 23-26 August. Around 200 vessels will converge on the waters off Montes Reef Resort and the Gloucester Resort at the location of the now famous Shag Islet. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, with an exciting list of daily activities and evening entertainment, culminating in the “Hands Across the Blue for Prostate Cancer” on 25 August at noon. This activity sees all attendees on their dinghies assembling en masse to form the shape of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia emblem over the water.


By Andy Kancachian

Cover image by Gary Ryan


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