Hosted by the Abel Point Yacht Club, the 2011 Whitsundays Multihull Rendezvous, again sponsored by Multihull Solutions is now well and truly over. The fun-filled event was hailed a huge success by all involved!
The Multihull Solutions team (with Condor, Ezmerelda, Kim and Rachel), onboard the Trawler catamaran Belle De Jour, led the 15 multihulls that sailed in the event’s Cruising Division. With the primary objective being to have fun in one of the world’s most picturesque waterways, the Cruising Division achieved their goal admirably!
While eleven multihulls loaded with boisterously competitive crews participated in this year’s racing, off the water the crews were just as lively, enjoying a fabulous range of social functions!
Despite some occasional inclement weather, it was a superb week with plenty of opportunities to sail in company with other multihull enthusiasts, share and learn new skills from other participants, meet new friends and absorb the spectacular scenery of the Whitsundays. The feedback from this year’s Cruising Rally Division was overwhelmingly positive, with many participants already committing to return for next year’s event.
An unusually low cloud and fog blanketed the Whitsundays for the first day of sailing in the 2011 Multihull Solutions Whitsunday Rendezvous. The winds were light but enthusiasm was strong with 11 boats lined up in the Racing Division and 15 in the Cruising Rally Division. The forecast was for the winds to increase to 10-18 knots with mostly blue skies throughout the week, so the fleets were set for a week of sailing and fun in the sun.
Sorrento’s Restaurant at Abel Point Marina was the venue for the Welcome Night function and Skippers Briefing. With a great turn-out, sunset drinks and magnificent food the crews had a great start on their preparation for the week that lay ahead.
The start line set off Abel Point Marina in Airlie Beach attracted a good number of spectators who watched as the racing boats slowly edged over the line and set off to race in light conditions. The 15 Cruising Rally boats set sail after the race boats and were greeted by some magnificent breaching whales on their leisurely sail to Long Island.
After beach games and sunset drinks by the pool bar, Long Island Resort laid on a magnificent BBQ buffet. New friendships were forged with the crews mingling well into the night.
After enjoying some bushwalking and exploring Long Island, the crews set sail south along the stunning Long Island Sound before making their way with the wind and tide assisting to Nara Inlet on Hook Island. The afternoon was spent exploring this deep fjord-like inlet before the group met on the beach for a walk up to the Aboriginal caves, followed by an idyllic social function with sunset nibbles and wine compliments of Multihull Solutions. ‘Joke of the Day’ was awarded to Peter Law from TigerLily who received a bottle of red wine for his efforts.
The fleet relaxed with an event-free evening. Invitations to dinner onboard boats were exchanged, and crews shuttled back and forth on tenders until the late hours as everyone enjoyed the company of new-found friends.
The weather forecasting was not so accurate today with the fleet waking up to overcast and patchy rain. Despite the inclement weather the fleet lifted anchor from Nara Inlet and sailed out through the Hook Passage and down the eastern side of Hook Island and into Tongue Bay. Many of the crews enjoyed the walk up to the Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach Lookout which offers stunning views of the Hill Inlet and the full 6km length of Whitehaven Beach.
After stretching legs and a quick swim, anchors were weighed and the fleet gathered at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach to enjoy wine and cheese platters provided by Multihull Solutions, and hilarious bout of beach games including coconut bocce and beach cricket. Dinner was again at everyone’s leisure onboard their boats. The radio airwave were jammed with dinner invitations and continuous socialising.
A brighter morning greeted the boats with 15-20 knot winds and clearing skies. The fleet enjoyed the morning at Whitehaven Beach before setting sail to Hamilton Island. The committee was stationed on the deck at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club to take down the fleet’s finishing times and welcome them to the island.
Sunset drinks were enjoyed at the Hamilton Island Tavern before dinner at SAILS Restaurant on the resort side of the island. The fleet was divided into those who looked forward to enjoying a rare early night, and those who couldn’t resist partying well into the early hours of Thursday!
Spring certainly sprang on Thursday with the best weather conditions we had seen all week. A lovely 15-knot southeast breeze and bright blue skies had all crews smiling. After a morning enjoying the resort facilities and re-stocking the boats with water, fuel, ice, food and beverages, the fleet had a lovely downwind sail to Cid Harbour. On arrival the vessels crossed past the Committee Boat showing off their best figurehead. With men in bikinis, women swathed in Multihull Solutions flags, wetsuits dressed as Hawaiian dancers and ballerinas, the competition was stiff.
The group partied away the afternoon with punch and prawns overflowing. The Division’s overall winners were announced and special prizes were awarded. It was a fantastic afternoon with a festive atmosphere including Multihull Solutions’ own ‘Elvis’ guitarist! After a magnificent sunset, the crews enjoyed their final evening at their leisure onboard their boats.
The last day of the rally saw many of the boats return to the mainland and settle in at Airlie Beach. Many watched the final action of the Racing Division before berthing back at Abel Point Marina. The final presentations for the Racing and Rally fleets were held at Sorrento’s restaurant where everyone bid each other farewell until their next Rendezvous.
Biggest Fish Caught – (tag and release, of course!) – 'Tranquility'.
Best Figurehead – Gaz from 'EIAO'
Party Animal – Gaz from 'EIAO'
Best Budgie Smugglers – Gordon 'Nauticat'
Most Potential – Zac 'Oarsome' (Our youngest rally participant was Zac at 10 years old. He was great company and a pleasure to have on the rally!)
Party Boat of the Week – the 7 (but sometimes 10) member crew from 'EIAO' Multihull Solutions?nid=89283
would like to thank all of the participants for their participation in the Cruising Rally. Everyone’s great humour and involvement made the event extremely enjoyable and successful. We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s event!