Toronto, on Lake Macquarie south of Newcastle, will again be the venue for a spectacular sailing event on the October long weekend (October 1-2) as up to 70 yachts and dinghies set spinnakers and take off down the lake for the annual Heaven Can Wait Charity Yacht Regatta.
The Heaven Can Wait Regatta, which is in its sixth year, raises funds the men’s cancer research and support programs, which goes to the Cancer Council NSW. In 2010, it raised over $40,000.
The regatta incorporates the Heaven Can Wait One Lap Dash, in which boats race a full circuit of the lake, and the more challenging Heaven Can Wait 24 Hour Yacht Race, in which yachts sail a course around Lake Macquarie as many times as they can over 24 hours.
All boats start at the same time on a massed start line off Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto, with the race countdown beginning from 10 am on Saturday October 1.
According to race founder and Heaven Can Wait Yacht Club commodore Shaun Lewicki – who is also a Lake Macquarie sailor and cancer survivor – the community is strongly encouraged to take part in the event.
'Every one in the community is welcome to come on down to Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto on Saturday morning to send off our 2011 Heaven Can Wait sailors – and show their support for this cause by donating money online via www.heavencanwait.com.au
'The annual Heaven Can Wait start is a spectacular sight from anywhere along the foreshore south from Toronto,' he said.
'There’ll be yachts of all sizes, from small foiling moths which skim along above the surface of the water, to ‘sports boats’ and cruising yachts capable of crossing oceans.
'The event is also an opportunity for people who know nothing about sailing to come along, talk to participants and organisers and find out what it’s all about, and really be a part of the pre-race excitement,' said Mr Lewicki.
Defending his Heaven Can Wait One Lap Dash Race record of two hours seven minute and 31 seconds will be one of Australia’s hottest London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal prospects, Nathan Outteridge from Wangi Wangi. Nathan is the current Moth World Champion and former 49er World Champion.
Outteridge and his fellow Lake Macquarie crew Iain Jensen, the 2009 49er World Champions, have been impressive at the Olympic test event venue in Weymouth, adding the 2011 Olympic test event victory to their three consecutive Gold medals at the Sail for Gold Regatta.
For more information www.heavencanwait.com.au
Rob Kothe, Tetra Media, ph 02 4977 2116, mobile 0418 441 359
Mark Cherrington, HCW Media, ph 0419 236 704.
High Resolution images available upon request . Contact details for competitors and other Heaven Can Wait Regatta officials are available on request. If required, we can arrange for 'on water' interviews with competitors participating in the 24 Hour Race.