Sailing club is off and racing with new motor

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Hervey Bay Sailing Club will be race-ready with a new outboard fitted to the club’s start boat, with the help of a Stronger Communities Program grant from the Federal Government.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt congratulated the club on receiving $5761 to replace a 20-year-old outboard motor, with a new 70HP 4 stroke outboard.

“This upgrade means the Hervey Bay Sailing Club can continue to safely host regattas which bring many competitors, and their families, to our region.

“The Stronger Communities Program has been a boost for community groups and organisations like Hervey Bay Sailing Club that would otherwise struggle to generate the funding for this type of work to be done,” Mr Pitt said.

Hervey Bay Sailing Club president Leigh Hewish said the new motor on the start boat would provide a safe and encouraging environment for volunteers and sailors.

“The boat is critical for hosting the annual Bay to Bay Trailable Yacht Race, as well as regular hosting of State and National Championships and the hosting of the World A Class Championships in 2018,” he said.

Mr Hewish said the regattas hosted by the club attract approximately 1,000 visitors to Hervey Bay each year.

“We expect that the upcoming World Championships will provide extensive international exposure for Hervey Bay.”

The Hervey Bay Sailing Club was formed in 1968 when a group of sailors who wanted to sail found they didn’t have a club to sail with.

The club house for the first six seasons was a tent erected on the beach on Sundays and the club soon grew in popularity.

In 1974 half of the existing boatshed was built by the club volunteers and the second half was completed in 1977.

In 1981 the first Bay to Bay Yacht Race was held and this has occurred every year since with approximately 150 entries each year – with a record 230 yachts competing in 1999.

The 37th Annual Bay to Bay Trailable Yacht Race will be held on April 29-30, 2017.

Through the Stronger Communities Program, eligible community groups can apply for grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 for small capital projects. All applications need to commit at least matching funding or in-kind contributions.

Each Federal Electorate is allocated $150,000 a year over two years. For more information go to www.infrastructure.gov.au/SCP

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