Heaven Can Wait Regatta 2018

The 12th anniversary of the biggest Charity Sailing Regatta on Lake Macquarie – The Heaven Can Wait Regatta, is scheduled to run over the weekend of February 24 and 25, 2018. The regatta is somewhat unique in that it is the only Australian overnight round the cans charity fund raising regatta – primarily supporting the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW with a small amount of the proceeds going to Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie. The Regatta is organised and run by the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto. Since inception, the Regatta has raised more than $250,000 in support of the charities – almost $80,000 in the past 2 years.

The Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta - conceived and inaugurated by Lake Macquarie resident, keen sailor and cancer survivor Shaun Lewicki. Funds raised support the Home Help program – a Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW’s program that provides domestic assistance to both recovering and terminal cancer patients who – because of their illness, are unable to perform many of the home duties they would normally do.

The 2018 regatta is open to yachts, multi hulls, trailer sailer’s, dinghies and other off the beach type vessels such as moths, kite boards and sailboards. Specially designed courses have been chosen to cater for these different types of vessels – the One Lap Dash, 12 and 24 hour races for yachts, multi hulls and trailer sailer’s that meet the safety audit requirements, and a Short One Lap Dash for dinghies and off the beach vessels and other yachts and trailer sailer’s not wanting to do the 30NM One Lap Dash. Off the beach craft can compete in the One Lap Dash provided they have their own chase boat to accompany them.

The Heaven Can Wait Regatta is a fund raising event and for 2018, the organisers have introduced a bit of a twist in which Bribery and Corruption could pay off for particpants. Competitors entered into the One Lap Dash – a traditional Personal Handicap System race, will have the opportunity to ‘buy their handicap in what will be the One Lap Fundraiser Dash. It will run in parallel with the One Lap Dash with special trophies for placegetters. In the Fundraiser Dash, funds raised by the participants in support of the charities, will be used to buy their handicap, so the more they raise, the better their handicap will be.

Seventy boats competed in 2017 and the organisers are hoping to see over 80 for 2018.

The regatta will kick off with the customary Charity Dinner and Auction on Friday February 23rd at the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto. Guest speakers are still being finalised and as has become a bit of a tradition, they will be interviewed by Helene O’Neil – cancer survivor and ABC Newcastle sport commentator. Tickets for the dinner will be available early in the New Year.

The Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta Entry System is now open and crews can enter their boats by going to www.rmyctoronto.com.au, and following the links to the Heaven Can Wait Entry System.

The 2018 Heaven Can Wait Regatta will again be a part of Lakefest – a celebration of aquatic activity on Lake Macquarie running from Saturday February 17 through Sunday March 4, 2018. More information on Lakefest is available at www.lakefest.com.au.

Mel Steiner
Vice Commodore RMYC Toronto

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