Sue Melville-Smith aboard the Andrew Watson spectator vessel for the Oncology Cup Yacht Race, raising funds for the McGrath Foundation and the Prostrate Cancer Foundation on Australia Day.
Sue Melville-Smith aboard the Andrew Watson spectator vessel for the Oncology Cup Yacht Race, raising funds for the McGrath Foundation and the Prostrate Cancer Foundation on Australia Day. Max Fleet

Aussie Day race a charity winner

BUNDABERG’S inaugural Australia Day charity yacht race was such a success it will be back bigger and better next year.

Two yachts slugged it out on January 26 to raise money for cancer charities, and the spectator boat was full of onlookers, but organisers expect 30 to 40 competitors at 2011’s event.

Peter Charles, resplendent in his striking pink suit, and Judy O’Donoghue started the fundraiser and were ecstatic about the results.

“We wanted to have something special to celebrate Australia Day and we’ve both had family and friends affected by cancer. This is a fun way of showing our support,” Mr Charles said.

Apart from proving a popular day out, the race and associated auction and prawn and pizza evening helped raise more than $1500 for cancer charities with $755 being shipped off to the Prostate Foundation and $755 going to the McGrath Foundation.

With the race set to attract a much larger fleet, Mr Charles hopes to raise even more money for the charities next year.

This year’s contest left Bundaberg Port Marina at 11.30am.

With the weather behind them, the race was a nail-biter, and Mrs O’Donoghue sailed to victory only a matter of seconds in front.

“It was a fun day that ended in a fantastic spread after the race at the house, and an auction which also helped to raise a lot of money,” Mr Charles said.

A Pusser’s rum decanter, the only one in Australia at the time, was won by a phone bid from Mooloolaba for $500.

“Nothing ever happens without Pusser’s rum!” Mr Charles declared.

While the pink suit, a colour synonymous with the McGrath Foundation, is headed back to the closest for another year, expect to see it back in action in 2011.



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