Fun Race fires back up in 2016
AFTER a less than stellar field in 2015, the Great Whitsunday Fun Race fired up on Saturday.
Organiser Stuart Harris said 34 boats had taken to the water, dressed to impress in all manner of ornaments.
"Which was an improvement on the year before," he said.
"We had about 10 knots of south easterly breeze and glorious sunshine."
Line honours and the Great Whitsunday Trophy went to Treasure VIII, owned by local Rob Davis.
Meanwhile, best dressed boat was awarded to the catamaran Norman, owned by Peter Jermyn.
"It was all dressed up in Australia Day colours and a boxing kangaroo," Mr Harris said.
Lydia Jones took out the Miss Figure Head competition.
To help bolster numbers in this iconic event, Mr Harris approached Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club founder Ken Thackeray, with the club welcoming scores of boats to the region for their annual rendezvous.
"I suggested to them that the sailing club would contribute half of the entry fee, which is $20, to prostate cancer," Mr Harris said.
"They had 11 boats in the event, which was amazing."
With the race having first run in 1977 between just two boats, Mr Harris said it had grown to welcome hundreds of boats in its hey day.
Recently however numbers have declined.
"We want to keep building it back to what it once was," Mr Harris said.
"I hope that the community will come out and participate."
Participants can expect some interesting new additions in 2017 as well.
"You'll get extra points if you're carrying push bikes or if you're towing a dingy because the idea is it's not meant to be a formal race, it's a fun event," Mr Harris said.
"It's about getting everyone out on the water and celebrating our water activities in the Whitsundays."