Queensland and Mackay Marina Village have been an ideal location for the World ARC 2018-19 fleet to commence their Australian adventures. Bright and early Sunday morning the fleet visited Cape Hillsborough National Park to see wallabies and kangaroos on the beach at sunrise. There was even a baby Joey in the pouch of a proud mama Roo!! Only 50 km northwest of Mackay, this ruggedly scenic park includes rainforest and volcanic rock formations.
Later that afternoon, participants enjoyed a delicious welcome dinner and festive prizegiving party held at the Clarion Restaurant and hosted by Mackay Marina. Each boat was recognized for crossing the Pacific Ocean with a colourful certificate highlighting the flag of every country they visited. In the Class A division, Mad Monkey once again secured the top spot followed by Madrigal and Adrienne. Amara, who will say goodbye to the fleet in Australia, was the leader in the Class B division with Pinta coming in second and Christine third. The multihull division award for first place went to Spirit of Catherine, followed by Misto and Smoke & Roses holding the second and third places.
Amazing photographs were submitted by all of the boats and special awards went out to OceanBird and Madrigal for their submissions. The fleet voted on some fun awards - PretAixte was recognized as "best dressed couple" and OceanBird as "loudest, most energetic crew". Misto also won the award for closest estimation of their arrival time and date.
Special recognition also went out this evening to Thomas and Tanja of Adrienne. On Leg 7 from Vanuatu to Australia, they celebrated their 100,000 nautical mile mark sailing TOGETHER!!! Quite an accomplishment.
On Monday morning, Galen of Rally Control held the skippers briefing. Zoning charts were provided to the fleet by the Mackay Marina and an overview of what to expect in Darwin was highlighted. As the free cruising period begins, the fleet is sad to say farewell to four yachts that have certainly made a dramatic impact on the fleet Amara
We also welcome back Aurora Polaris and Lydia, boats who have rejoined the fleet in Mackay.
Participants are finishing up provisioning, "boat chores" and cruising plans today. Tomorrow first boats will leave Mackay to head north and cruise the Whitsunday Islands. Many of the boats will cruise together. The fleet officially meets back up in Darwin, the northern most city in Australia, at the end of August.