2015 Heaven Can Wait Regatta - Kick off Lake Macquarie’s Lakefest

Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta
Greg Dickens
2015 Heaven Can Wait Regatta - A completely revamped Heaven Can Wait charity sailing regatta has been announced for February 2015, as the lead-in event for a full week of aquatic activity on Lake Macquarie, to be known as Lakefest.

Organised by the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) Toronto, the Heaven Can Wait (HCW) regatta will be held on the weekend of February 21-22, 2015.

The regatta – approaching its 10th year – involves sailing yachts, dinghies and skiffs racing around Lake Macquarie for up to 24 hours.

The event has been a highly successful fundraiser for the NSW Cancer Council, raising $39,000 for cancer support programs in 2013, and bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of donations since the inaugural regatta in 2006.

RMYC Toronto Sailing Master Mel Steiner said the previous HCW regatta held in November 2013 was a highly successful event.

'We had around 70 boats starting in what can only be described as a spectacular spinnaker run up to Speers Point, at the northern end of the lake,' he said.

Start of the last Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta - Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta
Melvyn (Mel) Steiner
'Our 2013 regatta raised $39,000 in support of our HCW charities – primarily the Hunter branch of the NSW Cancer Council and a smaller amount to Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie for its on water support during the regatta.

Steiner said that committee debrief following the 2013 HCW, raised the opportunity for it to become the centrepiece of a much bigger Lakefest event on Lake Macquarie during the last week of February.

'HCW 2015 is now set to be the lead in event to the inaugural Lakefest, a celebration of Lake Macquarie’s aquatic lifestyle and rich maritime history; it will kick off on Friday, February 20 with the HCW pre-race dinner, and continue all that following week through to Saturday, February 28,' he said.

'The Lakefest concept will bring together a full program of new and existing heritage events and activities organised and run by individual boating clubs and charity groups.

'The HCW organising committee determined that this opportunity to combine our 24 hour charity regatta with this exciting community focused event was too good to miss, and so we made the decision to align HCW with Lakefest,' Steiner said.

The individual events that make up Lakefest are still being finalised, but are expected to include not only sailing events, but other water-based sporting and social activities.

A new website is being developed to build interest and participation in Lakefest and HCW 2015, and further information will be released when the site goes live.

HCW 2015 regatta begins at 1100 hours on Saturday, February 21, with the 24-hour race finishing at 1100 hours the following morning.