Cruising yachties make history
WHILE the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) is famous for having no structural home, its natural affinity remains with Shag Islet in the Whitsundays where the club was initially formed.
On the last weekend of August each year, SICYC vice commodores rally from all parts of the globe to Shag Islet in the Gloucester Passage, where an annual rendezvous is held.
Over the years, this event has grown beyond all expectations and also become a major fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
From just 34 people who rallied in the first year, an estimated 1000 vice commodores are expected to attend this year’s rendezvous from August 28-31.
“We initially thought we’d end up with about 50 of our friends and have a bit of fun with it – who would have guessed it would have ended up like this,” club founder Ken Thackeray said.
The idea behind supporting a charity originated at the very first rendezvous in 2009, when the club raised $280 through raffling a bottle of red wine.
“It dawned on us we were in danger of making money and a lady yachtie suggested prostate cancer would be a good cause,” Mr Thackeray said.
At the 2010 rendezvous, club members raised $1100 for the cause, but smashed this total out of the water just one year later when $11,100 was raised.
In 2012, the rendezvous more than doubled its fundraising tally to $30k and last year the grand total came to $42k.
Mr Thackeray, who was recognised for his work in this regard with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) earlier this year, said the rendezvous had become a phenomenon “that’s just got a life of its own”.
“Clearly the annual rendezvous is an opportunity for us all to let our hair down, socialise and let loose in a magical location, but to do it with a good cause in mind makes it all the more enjoyable for us,” he said.
“Prostate cancer is something that has touched the lives of many of our vice commodores and supporting the foundation to continue with research allows us to feel we are having a meaningful contribution.”
EPIC EVENT: The SICYC Rendezvous has grown beyond all expectations over the past five years. Pictured are SICYC members at the Shag Islet party, which forms part of the event.
ANNUAL GATHERING: On the last weekend of every August, SICYC members rally in the Gloucester Passage (pictured) to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia while also enjoying a jam-packed program of fun.