Low Isles Australia Day race celebrates 50 years
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.