Rally crews back in home waters
CREWS participating in the Coral Coast Rally made their way into home waters yesterday after a whirlwind tour of the Coral Coast.
Crews departed the Abell Point Marina on Sunday May 8 before laying anchor at Cape Gloucester where they had some fun dressing up at the Cape Gloucester Resort.
On Monday the yachts and two motor boats made their way 60km north to Cape Upstart where they enjoyed a wine and cheese night on the beach.
Abell Point Marina Yacht Club commodore Colin Bell was skippering his 36 foot yacht, Upyerkilt, and said the next day the fleet headed to Cape Bowling Green where they played bocce on the beach.
With reports of a southerly change coming, the majority of the fleet left Cape Bowling Green in the early hours of the morning.
On the way to Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island the yachts were hit by 30 knot winds and those not departing early were stuck in the sand at Cape Bowling Green for 24 hours.
The fleet stayed for two nights at Horseshoe Bay and on Thursday night everyone was bussed to the Stage Door Theatre restaurant for a comedy show.
“It was a fantastic night, everyone enjoyed it,” Mr Bell said.
On Friday the crews headed to Nellie Bay Marina on the south side of Magnetic Island and everyone was bussed to the Picnic Bay Hotel for dinner.
Mr Bell said while all the boats were moored locally, their crews came from all across Australia to take part in the rally.
“This year we’ve got a couple that own a charter boat in Airlie Beach; they’ve come from as far away as Sydney,” he said.
“We’ve got another couple from Ballarat who keep their boat in Airlie.
“A lot of people use it as a kick-off leg if they’re cruising further north during the sea- son.”
Those boats that don’t continue north made their way back into the familiar waters of Pioneer Bay yesterday.
Mr Bell said the highlight of the voyage was the Magnetic Island Olympics and he was sure everyone would be back next year.
"It's really just a whole bunch of people with like in- terests who go away to have a bit of fun and a bit of socialising on the beach in the evening,” he said.
CORAL COAST SAIL: Yachts taking part in the Coral Coast Rally on their way to Magnetic Island.
CORAL COAST: Coral Coast Rally sailors on the beach at Cape Bowling Green.