Fast trip north for Offshore Challenge
Over nine days from August 25, the Offshore Challenge will island and marina hop a course inside the Great Barrier Reef up the Queensland coast to Airlie Beach.
There are races and rallies, cruises and social outings for every form of water craft, but until now there was no real opportunity for a genuine, long-distance, adventure-style, navigational rally for power boating enthusiasts.
This event is designed specifically for the privateer boat owner who might not normally undertake a solo offshore cruise, but who would jump at the chance to explore some of Australia's best coastal waterways in the company of others as part of an organised event.
The Offshore Challenge is sixteen islands, six coastal passages, rocky inlets, coral cays, wide sandy beaches, palm-fringed lagoons, coastal towns, Pacific ocean swells, mangrove-lined hidden surprises, bar-ways, famous holiday resorts and remote secluded passages; the most varied and exciting way the explore Australia's most iconic coastline.
If you are a power boating enthusiast and want to do more to enjoy your boating, then starting and finishing at the world-class marinas of Meridien Marina's Horizon Shores and Airlie Beach, the Australian Offshore Challenge is for you.
You do not need a specially modified craft, just a sea-worthy, offshore capable, production sports cruiser or fishing boat.
The Gold Coast to Whitsundays Rally August 25 to September 3 enjoying the best weather and arriving in time for the Rotary Meridien Boat and Lifestyle Show at the new Port of Airlie on the weekend of September 10-11 and enjoy the Airlie Beach Fun Race and International Talk Like a Pirate Day are on Saturday September 10.
Fans stick together
The Eighth-Annual Duct Tape Festival was held on the weekend to celebrate and pay tribute to the world's favourite fix-all - duct tape.
Hosted in Avon, Ohio, the "Duct Tape Capital" of the world, and home of Duck Tape® brand duct tape, the three-day event celebrated everything duct tape,
The grand parade on Saturday was lead by Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, and featured floats made with duct tape.
With over three million fans on Facebook the Duck® brand celebrates one of the two most used products to fix anything the other being WD-40, the combination of the two referred to as The Redneck Repair Kit.
NASA engineers and astronauts used duct tape in 1970 on Apollo 13 en route to the moon. A workaround used duct tape and other items on board saving the lives of the three astronauts on board.
Sweet, smiling Teresa Scanlan the 18 year old Miss America was crowned the first-ever Miss Duct Tape.
"People think I'm being facetious, but being invited to attend the Duct Tape Festival is a dream come true," said Scanlan.
"It's the greatest invention ever," she said. "If I was ever on a deserted island and only allowed to take one thing, I'd take duct tape. You can hunt with it, fish with it, build with it, use it to decorate your hut and make stylish clothes" she gushed.
Devotees of the famous tape enjoyed a meet and greet with Miss America to hear why she loves to craft with duct tape and how the tape would fix world problems such as poverty, peace and the ailing US dollar.
Who would have guessed that when Briton Mark Wilkinson took his new 4.8-metre cabin cruiser out for its maiden voyage, it would sink?
Sure, most people would think twice before buying a boat named Titanic II.
"If it wasn't for the harbourmaster I would have gone down with the Titanic," Wilkinson, who had to be fished out of the sea at West Bay harbour in Dorset, southern England, told local media.
"It's all a bit embarrassing and I'm pretty fed up with people asking me if I had hit an iceberg."
One eyewitness reportedly said: "It wasn't a very big boat - I think an ice cube could have sunk it!"
Platypus Rock - Mariners are advised that the temporary west cardinal mark buoy VQ (9) 10s which marks Platypus Rock off Shaw Island, is reported off station. The buoy is currently located to the north east of the reef. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252, 254 & 824
Fair winds to Ye!