Welcome sailors to Easter Regatta
It's time to dust off the boat and head out on the waters off Airlie Beach for some fine racing, and great company.
Over many years, the Easter Regatta has heralded the beginning of the cooler season sailing on the Whitsunday Coast with the series shared between Bowen and Airlie.
If you're keen to take part in the Easter Regatta this year, but you don't own a boat then you'll be glad to learn that the Whitsunday Sailing Club have a range of boats available to hire for the weekend.
X3's can be sailed by a crew of two children, or one adult. Ideal for novice sailors, but those with some experience will also enjoy racing them. A Sabot is a junior class boat, suitable for children up to 15 years of age mainly suitable for children with some sailing experience. The Laser is a fast boat with plenty to offer intermediate to advanced sailors. The Club have 4.7, radial and full rigs available to suit sailors in various weight ranges.
Corsair is an excellent boat for first time sailors (when paired with someone with some sailing experience) and an ideal family boat. Sailed by a crew of two, or three. Tasars are terrific boats for intermediate to advanced sailors, and offer some first-rate class racing. Sailed by a crew of two, the Tasar is the fastest boat we have available for hire. Tasars can deliver some thrilling speed in a bit of wind, yet remain very manageable by intermediate sailors of all ages. These boats are a favourite of husband/wife, or parent/child couples
Enter online and save paperwork on the weekend www.easterregatta.com.au
Further details Daniel Scott 0409 592 758
Forget koalas: roll on casinos
In a sign of the new time tourist wise, The Australasian Casino Association wants special priority processing by immigration and customs officials in Australian airports for tourists willing to pay. They say a more relaxed visa system will allow more Chinese high rollers to visit, and to stay longer at Australia's 13 casinos.
A record 558,600 Chinese visited Australia over the past 12 months, a 17 per cent increase, and the market was worth more than $3.8 billion in 2011, up 15 per cent on the previous year.
Travel abroad was the wealthy Chinese people's favourite leisure activity, with 55 million travelling overseas last year. Their second favourite activity was 'entertainment' - or casinos. It is called 'Entertainment' as it is illegal to promote gambling in China.
Earlier this year Australia's highest-profile billionaire and owner of Melbourne's Crown Casino James Packer suggested Australia should look at destinations such as Singapore and Macau, which had attracted middle-class Asian tourists with 'integrated resorts', which feature casinos.
Rich Chinese tourists were rejecting group tours and wanted to shop, visit casinos, play golf and drink wine.
They also like activities such as boating and yachting, hunting, horse races and polo.
Australia was focusing more on signage, translators and serving Chinese food at breakfast, but we also need to connect on an emotional level. At the Tourism and Events Excellence conference in Melbourne earlier this year, it was said Chinese tourists were very brand and status conscious and liked to give gifts.
"They want to signal to others that they can afford luxury products and experiences. You need to deliver products in a way that enables Chinese tourists to brag about it back home."
Nevertheless, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said Australia needed to differentiate itself from Europe and the United States and its lifestyle and natural environment were very appealing to Chinese tourists, as well as its optimistic, young cities.
In a submission to the Federal Government's Asian Century review, the casinos also call for an increase in direct flights from China to Australia, and more Australians learning Asian languages.
However, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the Government was already providing "streamlined processing arrangements for high rollers."
Marine notice - Shute Harbour
Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark buoy Fl Y 5s, temporarily in Shute Harbour, is been removed. AUS chart 253
Just a thought
"Stop, drop and roll isn't just an effective fire safety tip, but also a unique way to get out of a boring conversation."
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan is having a break from ABC Tropical North while standing as a candidate for Whitsunday Council Division 1