From 24 to 27 August 2017, the yachties will be attending the annual Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) Rendezvous, now the largest yacht gathering in the Whitsundays.
Hosted in the region’s stunning turquoise waters of the Gloucester Passage, attendees from over 240 visiting vessels from around the world will gather in their dinghies in the shallows just off the beach from Gloucester Eco Resort.
On Saturday 26 August at 10:45am they will be seen rafting up for their “Hands Across the Blue” ritual, forming the shape of the Prostate Cancer of Australia logo.
They aim to drive awareness of a cancer that takes the lives of more than 3,000 Australians per year.
Official guests attending the event will be Professor Judith Clements AC, one of Australia’s leading prostate cancer specialists and scientific director of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, as well as Peter Dutton MP, Federal Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. They will be joined by state and local government officials, leading community and tourism figures and sponsors Abell Point Marina and Oceanic Marine Risk.
Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club was formed as an unincorporated body back in May 2009 as a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of creating a social network for cruising yacht aficionados.
Due to its early, rapid growth, their aim was soon broadened to raising money for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Research. To date, SICYC has raised over $400,000 for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Research. In 2016 alone, over $103,000 was raised during the SICYC Rendezvous.
From a light-hearted concept, SICYC membership has grown from an in-joke to a serious movement. They now count 5,739 people from 17 nations among their members.
SICYC largely represents the cruising community aged from 45 to 75 years, with all members receiving the title of “Vice Commodore” of a nautical location. Upon joining they receive a Vice Commodore polo, a life membership card and discounts from an ever-growing number of sponsor organisations.
Over 250 SICYC cruising yachts visit the Whitsunday region annually, bringing a significant financial boost to the Airlie Beach community.
SICYC founders Ken and Rhonda Thackeray hope to establish “Hands Across the Blue” as an activity which may take place in boating, fishing, skiing and surfing communities each year on the last Saturday of August.
Activities on the offer at the 2017 rendezvous include a “Meet and Greet”, tai chi, a kite-themed Shag Islet party, a “What were you wearing when the ship went down” event, Best Dressed Boats by day and night, a head shave for prostate cancer, fundraising auctions and raffles, and finally a pirate-themed farewell lunch on Sunday 27 August. It promises to be a vibrant, colourful four days of fun and frivolity for a great cause.