Gold Coast single dad Joey Lijewski is the proud owner of a brand new 16-foot Avalon trailer boat after winning a competition during the recent Gold Coast Marine Expo held at Coomera on Queensland's Gold Coast.
Joey defeated four other contestants in the Gold FM radio station 'Live in it to win it' competition run throughout the weekend of the Expo.
'My eight-year-old son Jack and I are so excited,' said Joey. 'We picked up the boat the weekend after the show and headed straight out on the water. This is going to make our Christmas so special!'
Brett Thurley from Clipper Motor Yachts Australia donated the Avalon centre console boat. The boat came with a Suzuki outboard motor and a trailer, a package valued at $16,000.
'It’s a new brand of fibreglass fish and watersport boat,' said Thurley. 'It’s ideal for harbour and estuary fishing and for family fun.
'It is great to know that Joey is going to use the boat well. It has gone to a very worthy winner and we are so excited for him.'
Joey works for a pontoon building company on the Gold Coast waterways.
'Every day I would see people out on their boats and feel sad that I could not afford to take young Jack out there too,' said Joey.
'Now I have my own boat and it is great. The Avalon performs well and feels really safe for young Jack.'
According to Ashleigh Hession of Gold FM, the contestants won their spot after a 30-second to 'talk your way onto the boat' phone-in.
Joey admitted he does not normally enter radio contests but he got to work early one morning, heard the promotion on the radio and' thought I would give it a go'. It was the last day for entries and there was only one place left on the boat.
On the Saturday of the show the five contestants were loaded into the boat and given a series of challenges in a last-man-standing competition.
'Joey excelled in all the challenges on Saturday so he and Morton were the last two left for the final challenges on Sunday morning,' said Ashleigh.
The two men were given a deck of cards to play the game Fish. The winner would get a one-minute start in a fishing contest. The first to catch two fish would win the boat.
'I had never heard of the game Fish, let alone played it,' said Joey. 'But I won and got the one-minute start in a real fishing competition right in front of everyone visiting the Expo.'
Joey caught his first fish within 40 seconds. But it was a long half-hour wait for the second hook-up. Joey hauled in another fish and the boat was his.
'We are so grateful to Clipper and to Gold FM,' said Joey. 'We are out every weekend – me and dad and Jack. Dad has been teaching Jack how to fish but it is going to be so much more of an adventure with the boat. The first day out was on the Tweed River and the second was Currumbin Creek. We’ll really be able to explore the Gold Coast waterways over the Christmas break.'