$30,000 raised at Gloucester
HUNDREDS of vice commodores from all over the world descended on the Gloucester Passage to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia over the weekend.
This year's Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) rendezvous raised a record $30,047 for the cause with a further $2,500 raised for the Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) branch, at a separate function on Sunday at Dingo Beach.
SICYC founder and event organiser Ken Thackeray said he was "absolutely blown away" by the response.
"The first year we raised $280. The second year we raised $1,100. Last year we raised $11,244 and this year we've raised $30,047. It's like a phenomenon that's just got a life of its own now," Thackeray said.
A fleet of about 140 boats participated in the event, with more than 450 people attending the "Parrot Head Party" at Montes Reef Resort on Saturday night.
Sunday's additional event was a pirate party at the Dingo Beach pub, with the combined events bringing a huge tourist presence to the communities of Hydeaway Bay and Dingo Beach.
Mr Thackeray thanked SICYC's vice commodores for their willingness to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Whitsunday VMR.
"They're just a fantastic bunch of people and besides the fact they have a good time, they're very willing to put their money to a good cause," he said.
Mr Thackeray said SICYC would definitely be back next year in the last week of August "to do it all again".
"Next year we'll have a Polynesian festival theme.
"The event will always change - it will grow and grow and we'll be pushing the entertainment parameters to make sure it's an event that's always well attended by our vice commodores," he said.