Peter Charles and Judy O’Donoghue set for the Australia Race for fun raising.
Peter Charles and Judy O’Donoghue set for the Australia Race for fun raising. Elise Cottam

Yachties to race for charity

ARGUMENTS about which boat would win have stretched for hours between Peter Charles and Judy O’Donoghue.

What better way to settle it, they thought, than a one-on-one race from Bundaberg Port Marina on Australia Day.

Mrs O’Donoghue, a member of the Bundaberg Cruising Yacht club, and Mr Charles have done their fair share of sailing — 250,000 nautical miles between them.

But this is arguably their most anticipated journey yet.

“I think I’m going to win, no doubt about it, but I will tell you one thing — one of us will win it,” a diplomatic Mr Charles said.

“If it’s a dead heat we’ll come back and race again next year.”

His Dutch vessel Flying Cloud will take on Mrs O’Donoghue’s Australian yacht Slingshot, supporting the McGrath Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation in the process.

“We’ve both had family and friends affected by cancer and this is a fun way of showing our support,” Mr Charles, an Australian citizen of four years, said.

A spectator vessel will follow the pair as they make their way around the Bargara shark nets and back, before the party retires to Mr Charles’s home for a prawns and pizza evening auction.

“I suppose you could call it a fundraiser, and what better day to have it,” Mr Charles said.

“I encourage everybody to come and watch on the boat and of course come back to the house afterwards for a great party.”

The former Brit claims to have never sailed in his life, but beneath his loud, but modest exterior it is obvious he knows his way around a yacht.

The pink suit, a colour synonymous with the McGrath Foundation, will be kept in the closet until later in the evening, but there is no chance of missing the amicable sailor when they leave the port at 11.30am on January 26.

“I’ll be wearing the suit later, but in the race I’ll have a pink G-string on, an orange beacon on one shoulder and a parrot on the other,” he said.

We can only hope he was joking.

To buy a ticket to the evening auction, telephone Mr Charles on 4151 2482 and to board the spectator vessel be at the marina by 10.45am Tuesday.



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