Clipper’s Annual Owners Regatta Breaks Records

November 8, 2016
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Clipper owners once again turned out in force to cruise north for the Annual Fraser Island Regatta. In total, 15 motor yachts and over 40 owners and their crew got together for nine days of cruising, camaraderie and onshore experiences. Every year, the event starts on the Gold Coast and heads north to the norther tip of Fraser Island before returning home.

The Regatta combines a mixture of marina and overnight anchorages, restaurant dining and onshore barbeques and fires in the evening. This year’s crew was a mixture of seasoned Clipper veterans and many new faces including new Clipper owners with boats ranging in size from 32 to 62 feet.

Some of the cruisers were heading offshore for their first time to extend their experience and confidence. “This event is specifically run to encourage our owners new and old to get out on the water,” said Brett Thurley CEO of Clipper Motor Yachts.

“We engage an experienced skipper to lead the fleet and mix through the different boats on different days so some owners who are cruising offshore for the first time are able to understand the vessels capabilities and expand their own boating knowledge, while in a group under safe conditions. It’s a crucial part of being in the Clipper family and our on-water regattas are a key fixture in the lifestyle of being a Clipper owner.”

The fleet included Clipper 40’s, Cordova 45’s, Cordova 48’s, 52’s and 60’s. The most exciting new vessel was the maiden voyage of Mike’s new Explorer 50, the first one in the world to be delivered and she was using the Regatta as her first cruise to her new home at Hamilton Island. Mike couldn’t have been happier with her quality and performance.

“Along with being over the moon with the layout and room of my new boat I couldn’t believe that in her first outing of 8 days of constant cruising we had one small hydraulic leak that was fixed at Mooloolaba straight away, other than that the vessel ran flawlessly,” exclaimed Mike.

The first two days of the schedule saw the boats anchor ashore at Peel Island for a BBQ and social get-together for all the crews to meet. The fleet headed onto Mooloolaba the next day in glass calm conditions to be tied up at the marina and then onto dinner at Fish on Parkyn for huge seafood platters to share. Tidal conditions the following day made it easy to cruise to the Wide Bay Bar at high tide and a safe and uneventful crossing together.

The weather presented a window of opportunity to get to the northern beaches of triangle cliffs at Fraser Island to experience an epic day on the beach, spit roasting a lamb and beef dinner, which was expertly cooked by the Clipper crew and enjoyed by all. The next few days were spent inside Big Woody Island due to west winds. Another beach barbeque was on the agenda and the owners were reunited with the crew of Pacifica who had taken ill with kidney stones and had to be taken to Hervey Bay hospital for a two-day stint.

Many of the boats ventured further north during the day for some fishing and whale watching, reporting back with some amazing close encounters with pods of whales and babies which was the main topic of discussion ashore during the night’s drinks by the fire.

The light winds held out fortuitously for the group to head into Tin Can Bay Marina for a great night at The Black Cockatoo, part of each years pilgrimage to Mark and Lorraine’s excellent restaurant. Clipper had organised live music and our crew let their hair down for a big night of dinner, dancing and beverages. High winds kept the boats safely in the marina the next day and a few sore heads were happy to have the sleep in before a morning departure the following day for a smooth bar crossing heading south to Mooloolaba and then finally onto home port of Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

Clipper owners agreed it was the best ever Regatta with Shawn and Michelle from FOCUS, a Cordova 52 saying “we had heard about the Clipper Regatta’s and how the owners really were a family but we didn’t realise how much we would enjoy the experience until we were part of this year’s event. We won’t miss one.”

Clipper is considering extending next year’s Regatta to include Lady Musgrave Island on the schedule and give owners a new destination to plan for.

To view our Regatta video: Click Here