Mackay first Aussie stop for world sailing rally

The Mackay Marina will be the first Australian stop for an international fleet of 18 sailing boats, as part in the annual World ARC Rally.

Mackay will mark the half-way point in this around-the-world voyage, with boats having sailed over 8,500 nautical miles via nine countries and the International Date Line when they arrive to the Marina.

The World ARC rally is an epic voyage around the world involving sailing yachts from 38 to 60 feet. It started from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia in January this year and will return there next April.

Mackay is the first of two official stopovers in Australia, with the yachts arriving in Queensland, before they cruise north up the Great Barrier Reef and “over the top” to Darwin and the start of the Indian Ocean.

With its convenient location and great boatyard facilities, the Mackay Marina will offer some ‘nautical TLC’ to the visitors, with many cruisers using the visit to lift-out and do essential boat jobs.

Australasian Event Manager, Hugh Murray-Walker, said the competitors would be looking forward to a much-needed break in Mackay as they reach the halfway point of the Rally.

“Our stopover in Mackay marks the end of the Pacific Ocean crossing which represents a major milestone for the fleet,” he said.

“For the last five months, World ARC yachts have been exploring the many magical island nations of the Pacific including; French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu.”

“While in Mackay the fleet will be hosted in Mackay Marina Village and after such a long time in remote locations, the Marina is the perfect place to regroup, conduct repairs, provision and plan for their next adventures up the Queensland Coral Coast and the famed Whitsunday Islands.” 

General Manager of Mackay Tourism, Tas Webber, said the fleet who are predominantly from Europe and the United States will be able to swap lifejackets for thongs and head inland to discover the many attractions that Queensland and Australia can offer visitors.

“While we hope the fleet can relax while they are here, there’s also a busy program planned including visiting kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough, an Aussie-style BBQ and a Welcome and Prize Giving function hosted by the Clarion Hotel.”

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Melissa Woods - Communications Officer

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Published: 28 July, 2016


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