Rally ships come sailing in

AT 10 years old, Wil Hawkins has never attended an Australian school.

Instead, he has done his schooling on the high seas with his family as they have circumnavigated the globe for the past five years.

On Sunday night the Sydney family reached the milestone of sailing around the world as the crew arrived at Bundaberg on Vagabond Heart, as part of the Port 2 Port Rally, which started in Vanuatu.

“I like the sailing and the places we visit and the things we see,” Wil said.

Wil's father, Bill Hawkins, said they decided to take their two boys and one girl around the world while they were still too young for high school but old enough to remember the experience.

Three other crews were also celebrating the achievement of circumnavigating the globe as they came into port with the rally.

For Roko Katnich and Sue Crennan, a three-year round-the-world trip turned into 13 years on Talinga Too.

The retired couple passed their mark at 12.15am yesterday and will spend the week in Bundaberg before heading to Brisbane to settle down with family.

Ms Crennan said it was rare the long days on the sea got lonely.

“We always seem to be in the company of another boat,” she said.

The couple said they had chosen to spend their last leg with the rally as a last farewell to the friends they had made before they returned to land.

Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Club president Lesley Grimmick said yachts from 10 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, the USA and Great Britain, took part in the rally.

No winner from the rally will be determined, but a prize will be given to the yacht that arrives closest to their nominated time.

“Before they leave they have to tell us what time they set to reach the outer marker,” Ms Grimmick said.

Rally participants will have a packed program at Bundaberg Port Marina, culminating in a public open day on Saturday, which will include a Volunteer Marine Rescue display.

The AGL Action Rescue Helicopter will also demonstrate a water rescue.

Port 2 Port • Started in Vanuatu • 46 yachts ranging from 10 metres to 16 metres participated • The first yachts arrived at the weekend • The last two yachts are set to arrive tomorrow

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