Cruising talks, lunchtime barbecues, prizes, tours and becoming famous!
|Cruising talks, lunchtime barbecues, prizes & becoming famous!
The official half way point in World ARC 2011/12 was celebrated yesterday with a fantastic prizegiving and barbecue at the prestigious Clarion Hotel in Mackay Marina, co-hosted by Mackay Tourist Board and Mackay Marina Village.
David Phillips, Head of Mackay Tourist Board welcomed the participants to Mackay and thanked World ARC for choosing their town as the Port of Entry into Australia. Mackay Marina general manager Ben Anderson also thanked World ARC for their visit. The Tourist Board and Mackay Marina were presented with framed World ARC posters signed by all the skippers, as a thankyou for their generosity and support during the Rally’s first Australian stopover.
World ARC 2010/11 participants Robert & Trish Budd from the boat Bristol Rose also received a special mention as they had driven the whole day up from Brisbane to meet this year's participants. The World ARC crews have really received an all-embracing welcome by everyone in Mackay, and a continuous flow of Australian Press have excitedly turned up in force at Mackay Marina this week, interviewing and snapping photos for local and national radio, newspapers and television
The World ARC crews bid an emotional farewell to Piligrim, one of the two Russian yachts on the event, as they complete their Half Rally here in Mackay. The Japanese catamaran Umineko were welcomed to the World ARC to start the second half of the rally back to Saint Lucia, and Skipper Sato took the opportunity to say he was excited about meeting everyone and becoming part of the 'World ARC Rally' complete their circumnavigation with the rest of the fleet.
Yesterday morning the crews also attended a two hour informative session from local experts at Mackay Yacht Club on cruising the coastline from Mackay up to Thursday Island at the top of Australia and the rally's next rendezvous point in 3 weeks' time. Mackay Yacht Club's Rear Commodore Bob Critchley was joined by long-time charter boat owners from the Coral Coast Bob & John Evetts to provide the World ARC crews with some fantastic useful tips and local knowledge about their trip north. Most boats are planning to depart Mackay on Wednesday or Thursday, giving them plenty of time to explore the world famous islands and unspoilt anchorages of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef.
Today and tomorrow, in their last few days in Mackay, the crews are heading inland in small groups on an all-day tour exploring the surrounding areas of Mackay. After visiting the historic Greenmount Homestead, they head up to the stunning forests and walking trails of Eungella National Park, before coming back down the Pioneer Valley and on to a guided walk through the forests at Finch Hatton Gorge to Araleun Waterfalls.