Wrapping up a solid week of cruising last Friday night was the salt encrusted sailors from the Seawind Whitsunday Rally 2010. 19 boats carrying over 80 people cruised in unison amongst the Whitsunday Islands over the six day event designed exclusively for members of the Seawind Cruising Club that conducts events all over the globe.
'The Whitsundays has a special place in our heart as a primary base for our craft,' said Brent Vaughan representing the company. 'With over 30 of our vessels operating in the area as bare boats, the numbers swell further in the winter months with our cruising community keen to sample the joys of this area.'
There was no doubt that the Whitsundays is a draw card. Amongst the crews were Seawind owners from Perth, opting to charter locally, while others had made the ocean trek from as far as Newcastle in their own craft.
Over the week, supposed 'cruising' races saw close quarters action, the occasional call of starboard and at least one 'touch tack' where a vessel had encroached a little to close to a rocky outcrop in search of a better result.
Celebrated return racers on board 'Talisker' were narrow second place getters overall to Xtsea owners David and Colleen Downes who admitted fundamental knowledge gaps at the start of the week.
Besides the racing, the social aspects of the week left no doubt that Seawind ownership demands a fun loving attitude. In the mid week Charter Yachts Australia provided a beach BBQ and judged a sand sculpting competition while virtually every other day social skills were tested.
There was also a blind mans dinghy race, trivia at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Karaoke at Long Island, dinghy Le Mans starts and fun interviews on a micro FM station conducted in Nara Inlet. By weeks end the bonds were unmistakably strong for the 'Academy Awards' night held at the fabulous new Dent Island Golf Club. Prizes were given out, including 'Don't Give Up Your Day Job' (aka Best onshore activities result) given to Meltemi, 'Best Fudged Result' (aka Best Corrected Result) given to XTSea, 'Consistently Luckiest' (aka Best overall line honours result) given to Talisker and 'Whitsunday Rally Winner' (aka Overall Rally Champion) given to Seawind 1160 XTSea. A fine meal, music by Patch and quality service provided the base layer for appearances by three versions of the Gilligan's island cast, Julia Gillard, Marge Simpson, Dame Edna and Austin Powers.