Event takes wind out of sails

CROSSING the Pacific for a second time did not even dent Sue and Mike Powell’s sails, but a week of festivities as a part of the Port 2 Port Rally at the Bundaberg Port Marina have left them gasping for air.

“We need to go to sea for a rest,” Mrs Powell joked.

The festivities, which have been ongoing since the 46 boats arrived from Vanuatu earlier in the week, continued yesterday.

The open day allowed people to examine the yacht and talk to their owners, provided information on sailing and featured a demonstration by the Volunteer Marine Rescue and the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter.

The Powells had decorated their boat for the day, landing them a best-dressed award.

“It’s magic, it really was, I’m so glad the wind went down,” Mrs Powell said.

Sailability Bundaberg president Gary Matheson was on hand all day to provide information on yachts designed for sailing by the disabled.

“They do everything a normal boat does except they don’t tip as much and they have rolling sails and lower seats,” he said.

Mr Matheson said he had a steady stream of people questioning him about the boats despite crowd numbers being down on last year.

Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Club president Lesley Grimminck said she estimated crowds to be between 400 and 500 people.

“It has been fantastic, it’s been great for Bundaberg, for us and for the yachts,” she said.

Ms Grimminck said the week had included events such as an auction on Friday for the Volunteer Marine Rescue service, belly dancing, a pot luck and trick or treating around the yachts for the children.

With the festivities at a close, Ms Grimminck said some yachts will stay or a few extra days.

However, things are looking good for the rally next year.

“I went home last night and had the first registration for next year waiting for me,” she said.

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