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Heaven Can Wait charity sailing regatta set for Lake Macquarie

by Melvyn (Mel) Steiner on 28 May 2013
2013 Heaven can wait charity sailing regatta at Lake Macquarie RMYC Toronto
The 2013 Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta that is to be held on Lake Macquarie on the weekend of November 16 and 17, 2013, in support of the NSW Cancer Council is inviting all members to participate in.

The Heaven Can Wait Charity Regatta is a unique event – it is the only 24 hour around the cans endurance yacht race in Australia. It is organised and run by the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Toronto – on the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie. It is raced over a course of approximately 30 nautical Miles that covers the length and breadth of Lake Macquarie and is three races run in parallel – a One Lap Dash – which as the name implies, is one lap around the course, a 12 hour race around the course which is distance over time race – from 11am to 11pm Saturday, and a unique 24 Hour race around the course – also a distance over time race, from 11am Saturday to 11am Sunday. All three races are handicap events and whilst there is recognition for line honours wins, the main game is winning on
handicap.

Some past participant’s who have also competed in a Hobart Yacht race, describe the 24 Hour Race as a tougher event – mainly because of the toll on crews. There is generally no crew change throughout the race, and frequent sail changes are required when sailing a course with many short legs – this race is clearly a test of endurance.

The Heaven Can Wait Charity Regatta was conceived and inaugurated by Lake Macquarie resident, keen sailor and cancer survivor Shaun Lewicki as a major annual sailing event on the lake, to promote sailing, the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle/Hunter region – and to raise funds for cancer research. The regatta is now in its eighth year and we are looking to make this a much bigger and better fund raising event.

There are no significant prizes for winning in this regatta – only donated trophies and the glory of getting a place. Last year, entries totaled some 70 boats – a little down on previous years. This year we are targeting to have in excess of 100 boats including representation from other local ports – Newcastle, Pittwater and Sydney Harbour, and
class associations.

Regatta entrants can choose to participate in any or all three events. Entry fees paid by the participants will this year go to the charity whereas in previous years, the cost of running the event came out of entry fees. We have – this year, secured sponsorship from Marmong Point Marina and Centennial Coal for the regatta running costs, and as a result, we are able to divert the entry fees to the charity.

We also have a number of other sponsors who provide products and or services in support of the regatta and these are identified on the attached promotional poster. In addition to the entry fees, participating boats are expected to participate in a ‘virtual’ fund raising race in support of NSW Cancer. This is done through ‘Everyday Hero’, a website that supports volunteer organizations who are raising money through donations in support of a specific cause. Last year, the amount raised was $30,000. A small amount of the funds raised also goes to Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue, who provide on water rescue support during the regatta. This year, our target is $50,000.

In an effort to raise more money for the NSW Cancer Council and cancer research, we will also be promoting a 'Crew Pay to Sail’ program whereby crew that do not have a boat to sail on, can pay a fee to sail on an entered boat in the 12 or 24 hour race. The fee has yet to be determined, but we would like to hear from crew that may be interested in participating in the program.

Visit Heaven Can Wait for more info.

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