The Link Healthcare Islands Weekend in aid of the RPAYC Integrated disAbled Sailing fund was a huge success. It featured great sailing, excellent food and drink, wonderful live music and best of all raised $40,000 for a tremendous cause.
Saturday night kicked off the weekend with the RPAYC Gala Dinner, the club’s signature social event of the year.
A sumptuous 3 course meal was served in the newly refurbished Admirals Cup room by the club’s excellent staff, this year there were a couple of ring-ins: Maria, the chef and Tony, the waiter turned out to be professional opera singers! After serving the mains they surprised everyone by bursting into song and treating us to a show with numbers ranging from “O Sole Mio” to “Hey Big Spender!” Fortunately this obviously spurred on the audience because the silent and live auction raised over $12,000! Originally scheduled to be a silent auction however one of our guest was Vice Commodore Lionel Dooley from Bobbin Head Cruising Club who did a great job as auctioneer for the three headline items: a day out on Matthew Flinders donated by John Bacon, fully catered by RPAYC, a Mercedes for the weekend and a night at Peppers donated by G Brothers, and a holiday on Hamilton Island donated by Oatley Wines. A fabulous evening was rounded off with another quality musical treat, The Tatum Trio, leading the dancing until late.
Norm Weaver and guest speaker Dan Fitzgibbon
Everyone enjoying a dance after dinner
Sunday morning brought the Islands Race with 26 crews competing (some still a little dusty from Saturday night!). A brisk trade was done at the skipper’s briefing in the morning with the ability to purchase additional handicap time and specially designed Islands Weekend flags and bandannas were also much in demand. Cruising Division also had a mystery cruise and there was also large fleet of Couta Boats for the Wattle Cup. Ensign Boating sponsored a Bavaria Division and an Oktoberfest BBQ after the race with Bratwurst and Lowenbrau flowing freely. Best Dressed crew prize was won jointly by Martin & Anna Cross on Antares and Wayne Wotton and the the crew of Sobella. These boats also finished 3rd & 4th so it goes to show that dressing up helps your performance!
The club was packed all afternoon and everyone had a great time. With sponsorships, auctions, the raffle and other donations over $40,000 was raised towards IdS. These funds will be used to provide support to integrate sailors with disabilities into the Club’s regular sailing program, for example maintaining the specially converted Sydney 38 yacht Another Challenge, supporting the not-for profit organisation Sailability and other projects to promote and support inclusivity for keen sailors of ALL ages and abilities.
I would like to give my appreciation to the Mandy Hansen and Suzanne Davies and all club staff. The Activities Committee members made the event come to fruition: Annie Taylor, Ann Asker, Colin Cook, Sal Ridulfo and Scott Dunstan. Finally I would like to thank Link Healthcare, the major sponsor for IdS; Ensign Ship Brokers who sponsored the Oktoberfest BBQ and Bavaria division; and all the individuals and companies that donated auction lots and raffle prizes: Above & Beyond, Anna Cross, Bayview Golf Club, Debbie Cordukes, FineWine Partners & Chateau Tanunda, G Brothers, John Bacon, Katie Spithill, Ocean Covers, Robert Oatley Vineyards, RPAYC and Synergy & TaikOz.