Please select your home edition
Edition
Abell Point Marina 728x90 Moor

Salute of Appreciation to hidden heroes

by Ian Grant on 14 Mar 2001
There is little doubt that the success surrounding the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race has been created from the loyal support and enthusiastic energy of proud community volunteers.

The dedicated service has become tradition particularly in Gladstone since the Mayor J F O'Malley announced in 1949 that the town was to host the finish of a major yacht race.

Almost the whole town turned out to welcome the inaugural fleet of seven yachts when they sailed on a trailblazing course during the Easter holiday weekend 53 years ago.

This was an amazing response considering Gladstone was devastated by the fury of a cyclonic storm some days before the race was due to start.

In fact there was some doubt that the race would go ahead but that was resolved with sailors and race supporters 'dipping into their pockets' to answer an urgent SOS for funds to help the cyclone relief.

The excitement, enthusiasm and morale of a town in distress were unified when the news was relayed on Easter Sunday morning that the first yacht (Hoana) had passed Gatcombe Head and entered the harbour.

This became the signal for the community who placed the re-building programme on hold as they prepared for what was proved to be a spontaneous welcome where wives baked roast dinners over wood fired stoves while their husbands and children welcomed the sailors into their homes to enjoy their first warm bath in several days.

Support from the community volunteers was overwhelming with the Country Womens Association providing healthy country style cooking for gala trophy presentation dinner.

These traditional welcomes have become a feature of the Gladstone Race, which is renowned as the only major Blue Water classic where each yacht is greeted by the City Mayor and presented with a cold carton of beer.

Night or day, the proud elected community leader who has the loyal support from an equally proud team of volunteers carries on with the traditional welcome.

Sure some of the remarkable old personalities are missing but they have expressed the message on what the race means to Gladstone by encouraging a new group to join the volunteer team.

Gladstone's volunteer State Emergency Service and Vessel Marine Rescue teams who provide race finish staff and escort are an invaluable asset.

In all cases they are the first to arrive and the last to leave manning their stations 24 hours a day from the time the first yacht is sighted to when the last yacht finishes.

The growing city of Gladstone, Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and the Port Curtis Sailing Club owe an enormous gratitude to their volunteer support teams who represent the real reason behind the success of the blue water classic.
Costing this labour of love happily expressed by a dedicated team would run into millions, which is a significant contribution to the Gladstone Yacht Race, the sport of ocean racing and the community of Gladstone.

There are just simply too many to thank, but people like Ray Wegert, Ian McNeill, and Graham Savage are three volunteers who stand out with a dedicated long term of service.

They like all other volunteers deserve a gesture of gratitude and recognition for community services in The Year of the Volunteer.

Please accept my personal thanks.

Stripey.
upffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Abell Point Marina 660x82 Moor

Related Articles

All Marine Spares showcases trailer and brands at SCIBS
Sanctuary Cove is a must-do for All Marine Spares, and this year’s was their first with their new trailer. Sanctuary Cove is a must-do for All Marine Spares, and this year’s was their first with their new, highly-visible trailer.
Posted on 27 May 2014
Job done with Marine Auctions (Part II)
In Part I, we got to learn some home truths about selling and buying boats from Adrian Seiffert of Marine Auctions. In Part I, we got to learn some home truths about selling and buying boats from Adrian Seiffert of Marine Auctions. Part II is all about the new ways Marine Auctions are going to assist you with the sale of boats, pens and other marine items.
Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Not up for 24 hours on Lake Macquarie? How about 12 hours then?
This year's Heaven Can Wait Charity Regatta on Lake Macquarie will include for the first time a 12-hour 'Challenge'. This year's Heaven Can Wait Charity Regatta on Lake Macquarie, starting in just three weeks, will include for the first time a 12-hour 'Challenge'.
Posted on 7 Sep 2012
Online Marine Auctions - buy and sell boats with unlimited scope
Online auctions are well and truly entrenched for the purchase of every kind of item, big and small and now boats. Online auctions are well and truly entrenched in our contemporary landscape. Millions of people use them every day for the purchase of every kind of item, big and small and now boats.
Posted on 31 Jul 2012
Laser National Championships day 4 double for Burton
Conditions were lighter on day 4 of the Laser National Championships at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Conditions were lighter than previous days, on day 4 of the Laser National Championships at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Tom Burton had another successful day, winning both races in the Laser full rig.
Posted on 2 Jan 2012
Sharpie National Championship - Suicide Blond takes lead
Sharpie National Championship - Conditions on day one of racing were less trying than yesterday Sharpie National Championship - Conditions on day one of racing were less trying than yesterday with 15 to 18knots of breeze from the south. Suicide Blond skippered by Craig Francis of Western Australia is winning overall on handicap after today’s two heats, followed by Kym Wright’s Murderess in second and Ian Richardson’s Mainiac in third.
Posted on 31 Dec 2011
Australian Laser National Championship - Competitive fleet racing
Australian Laser National Championship third day was competitive with a leader change in three of the four fleets Australian Laser National Championship 2012 third day of racing, in Manly, was competitive with a leader change in three of the four fleets in the Laser class. Three races were run today after conditions at the Royal Yacht Squadron at Manly proved too difficult yesterday to get a second race in. Today’s conditions were excellent for Laser racing with a southerly blowing 15 to 18knots.
Posted on 31 Dec 2011
Australian Laser National Championship - Choc tops and breakages
Australian Laser National Championship - Racing was abandoned after the third heat on the second day of racing Australian Laser National Championship 2012 second day of racing, in Manly, was abandoned today after the third heat. There were lots of breakages and choc top masts with wind building from 18 to 20knots at lunchtime to 25 to 30knots at 2pm with gusts recorded of up to 35knots.
Posted on 30 Dec 2011
Sharpies 69th National Championships underway at RQYS
Sharpies 69th National Championships day 1 33 competitors from all around the country were greeted with a warm (water temp above 26 deg celcius), but blustery welcome on Waterloo Bay, Manly and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for the start of the Sharpies 69th National Championships.
Posted on 30 Dec 2011
RQYS - Regatta and Sailing Manager position available
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) in Australia, is seeking a Regatta and Sailing Manager Queensland’s leading yacht club, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) in Australia, is seeking an experienced and self-motivated person to fill the fulltime role of Regatta and Sailing Manager.
Posted on 9 Nov 2011