Celebrating a year of sailing

SATURDAY night’s Commodore’s Ball at the Whitsunday Sailing Club celebrated the culmination of a great year for Whitsunday sailors.

The ball is always a highly anticipated night, with amazing food and great entertainment and of course, the presentations of the year’s trophies.

This year, those who attended were treated to a seafood smorgasbord of sand crabs, oysters, muscles, and coral trout.

It is the presentations that are the highlight though, and this year was no different.

On top of the year’s trophies of the Summer and Winter series, the resort series, Home Hardware, Great Barrier Reef Boat Sales Challengers’ Cup, XXXX Series (to name but a few), there were, as always, the major and special awards.

The Club Championship awards is the culmination of all weekend racing, and was won by Cynaphobe (Pete Millar), Idle Time (Kev Fogarty) and Sunflower (Graeme Douglas).

The Laurie Gubb trophy (donated by Laurie three years ago), is a special award given to a skipper or crew person who has shown a remarkable feat of seamanship.

This year Leo Rodriguez from Merit won the award for his rescue of the crew of Georgia in last year’s Sydney to Hobart race.

For the first time this year, there were also two new awards initiated by club members.

One was the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Harold Menelaus for his amazing sailing career, in which he is still active despite being in his 80’s.

Club president, Brian Fleming, also awarded Ian ‘Frog’ Davy with a watercolour painting by Jennifer Beaumont of his beloved boat ‘Edith May’ for all his tireless work at the club over numerous years.

The highlight of the Commodore’s Ball is the presentation of the Yachtsperson of the Year. This is a closely guarded secret and is awarded to a sailor who has achieved good results in sailing and has shown himself or herself to be a strong club member and volunteer.

Generally the award in the past has gone to Off-Shore sailors, but this year it was the youth that shone through, with the traditional watch being awarded to Klaus Lorenz for all of his amazing results during the year, and his assistance to other off-beach sailors with his mentoring. It was a well deserved award and one he should be proud of.

After presentations, everyone enjoyed the entertainment of MTV with Damon Stone and celebrations continued through the night.

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