Low Isles Aus­tralia Day race cel­e­brates 50 years

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - HOT PROPERTY -

BUCK­ING bron­cos, gla­di­a­tor games and thong-throw­ing are just some of the fes­tiv­i­ties at the Com­bined Club to cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day.

Aus­tralia Day, cel­e­brated around the na­tion on Jan­uary 26, is recog­nised as a day of hon­our­ing what is great about be­ing Aus­tralian and the team at the Com­bined Club aim to unite the lo­cal com­mu­nity with an ac­tion­packed agenda.

“This will be a com­mu­nity event, re­joic­ing in our com­mu­nity spirit, as well as cel­e­brat­ing Aus­tralia Day,” Com­bined Club man­ager Kim Row­ley said.

Lots of fun ac­tiv­i­ties are planned to en­ter­tain the whole fam­ily, from the lit­tle squirt fire en­gine to a buck­ing bronco for any­one brave enough to get on board.

There will also be gla­di­a­tor games, where peo­ple can bat­tle it out with pugile sticks, in ad­di­tion to more tra­di­tional games such as thong-toss­ing, boomerang, horse shoe ring, tug-of-war and pie eat­ing.

The lo­cal Coast Guard will be also host­ing a sausage siz­zle.

The event will be themed around “Aus­tralian sport”, and ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to come dressed as their favourite sportsper­son or team, with prizes be­ing awarded for the best, most imag­i­na­tive cos­tumes.

Boat­ing will be a sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture of the day, with the an­nual Bless­ing of the Fleet, a Greek tra­di­tion to en­sure a good sea­son, kick­ing off the fes­tiv­i­ties at 8am.

The an­nual rit­ual will see yachts, tin­nies, out­rig­gers, com­mer­cial and recre­ational boats of all sizes gather at Dixon In­let to be blessed, with the an­nual Lowe Isles boat race be­gin­ning shortly af­ter.

This is a poignant year for the boat race - com­mem­o­rat­ing its 50th year, where boats race around Lowe Isles and back.

Yachts, tin­nies, outrig­ger ca­noes, com­mer­cial and recre­ational fish­ing ves­sels, reef boats and crafts of all sizes and de­scrip­tions will set off in the an­nual Aus­tralia Day race.

The win­ner will emerge with a cov­eted “seat on the wall” to be mounted at the Com­bined Club along­side the names of the 49 pre­vi­ous boats and skip­pers to have won hand­i­cap hon­ours over the long and colour­ful his­tory of the race.

Ac­cord­ing to time-hon­oured tra­di­tion, the vic­to­ri­ous skip­per will be en­ti­tled to a "free pot of XXXX Gold" at the club ev­ery day for a year.

The race tests the skill, ex­pe­ri­ence and lo­cal knowl­edge of skip­pers who must bat­tle against the clock and hand­i­cap times based on the av­er­age speed of their ves­sels.

All events are free and all ages are wel­come, with all pro­ceeds given back to lo­cal not-for-profit com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and char­i­ties.

“The whole pur­pose of the day is to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether. It’s your day, come and sup­port it,” Kim said.

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