This week I have been in the Whitsundays and living on board while participating in some of the events that are focused around boating. This region of Australia is doing a great job in promoting the boating lifestyle and this activity can be seen in the improving infrastructure that has happened already as well as more planned.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, #AHIRW is a major example of a winning promotion with a 30 year tradition that brings sailors from all over the world. The weather was perfect, the national parks course scenery is stunning, the humpback whales majestic and everyone has a great time. There are even visiting Superyachts such as Vava II in attendance such is the reach these days. The marina is full to overflowing and this is a healthy sign for the industry.
Of course this week was preceded by Airlie Beach race week which is the prefect build up event and this saw the Abel Point Marina equally busy along with a bustling tourist trade. The marina is under new management and has a healthy capitals works plan already started with new facilities including a tavern on the site which will be one of the best spots in the Whitsundays.
On the weekend of the 26th the Shag Island Cruising Yacht Club held their rendezvous which had hundreds of attendees to this fun event which raises money for charity from a totally volunteer organisation. The music played into the night in the most perfect surroundings.
Coming back to work today I feel a little sad to be leaving these pristine waters, however I am also proud of this area where I had grown up. These world class events are putting the area on the map and allowing thousands of people to experience nature up close. A local told us when we moored to an environmentally friendly buoy with no anchors on the coral reef around Blue Pearl Bay that this was the best spot to see it all in the Whitsundays. Then he said “don’t forget to say G’day to the resident Maori Wras Gus”. Isn’t this better than the days when all we wanted to do was to eat Gus?