Let’s wel­come the fleet

Ev­ery­one wel­come as ocean rac­ers sail in

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

STAFF at Abell Point Ma­rina are count­ing down the days to when the world fa­mous Clip­per Race fleet ar­rives.

Cur­rently in Sydney preparing for the epic Sydney to Ho­bart Yacht Race on Box­ing Day, the Clip­per Race fleet will then head north and will be sail­ing into the Whit­sun­days some time around Jan­uary 13, de­pend­ing on the weather.

It is the first time the Clip­per Round the World Yacht Race has called into Air­lie Beach and ex­cite­ment is mount­ing.

Not only is it the world’s long­est ocean race, it is also the only event of its kind that trains am­a­teurs to take on the high seas un­der the lead­er­ship of pro­fes­sional skip­pers.

In recog­ni­tion of this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, Abell Point Ma­rina is “rolling out the blue car­pet” with a bumper four days of events and cel­e­bra­tions to wel­come the crews, who rep­re­sent more than 40 dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties.

Abell Point Ma­rina mar­ket­ing and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Luke McCaul said it was go­ing to be a fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity event and ev­ery­one was in­vited.

“There are lots of ways peo­ple can get in­volved over the four days,” he said.

“We have a packed com­mu­nity ac­tiv­ity sched­ule and the fleet will be on dis­play ev­ery day.

“Peo­ple can jump on board and look around the yachts and see what it’s really like on an ocean-go­ing ves­sel.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to be in­volved in a world-class event and it’s open to ev­ery­one, so we are hop­ing for a big crowd to wel­come the fleet and take ad­van­tage of all the free ac­tiv­i­ties go­ing on.”

On Fri­day, Jan­uary 15, there will be mu­sic and salsa danc­ing at Barcelona Tapas Bar, from 5.30pm, and then at 7.30pm there will be a fire- works dis­play at the south end of the ma­rina.

On Satur­day, Jan­uary 16, the day will kick off with a 5km park run at 7am, fol­lowed by a full day of fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment and the chance to tour the yachts. At 4pm, the Clip­per Round the World Yacht Race skip­pers will be in­ter­viewed in the court­yard next to Barcelona and this will be fol­lowed by live mu­sic.

Sun­day, Jan­uary 17 will have the Outrig­ger Pad­dle Chal­lenge take place off Shin­g­ley Beach, at 8am, with a Ro­tary Club com­mu­nity break­fast.

And on Mon­day, Jan­uary 18, there is a Bendigo Bank com­mu­nity break­fast be­fore the de­par­ture cer­e­mony, where ev­ery­one can give the race fleet a big Whit­sun­days send-off as they set sail on the next leg of their voy­age.

“It’s go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing and we want the lo­cal com­mu­nity to come and be a part of that as we wel­come – and then farewell – the 12 mag­nif­i­cent yachts and their crews, as they race around the world,” Mr McCaul said.

SET­TING SAIL: The Clip­per Fleet is due to em­bark on the Sydney to Ho­bart Yacht Race on Box­ing Day, be­fore ar­riv­ing in the Whit­sun­days mid-Jan­uary. Pic­tured: Great Bri­tain skip­per Peter Thorn­ton waves to his col­leagues on the Clip­perTelemed+ ves­sel. Photo: Dan Himbrechts AAP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.