Cruis­ing yachties make his­tory

Whitsunday Times - - SHAG ISLET YACHT CLUB -

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.

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