Lakefest fun starts Saturday, February 16, and countdown starts to Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta

MAIN EVENT: The 2019 Lakefest program begins this Saturday. A highlight of the two-week program of events on the lake is the Heaven Can Wait regatta (pictured) next Saturday, February 23. Picture: Supplied
MAIN EVENT: The 2019 Lakefest program begins this Saturday. A highlight of the two-week program of events on the lake is the Heaven Can Wait regatta (pictured) next Saturday, February 23. Picture: Supplied

THE annual celebration of aquatic activity on Lake Macquarie, Lakefest, starts this Saturday morning with a Pirate Fun Day at Belmont 16s.

In the afternoon, the fun shifts to Lake Macquarie Yacht Club (LMYC) for the first day of the LMYC Lakefest Regatta.

On Sunday night, LMYC will be the venue for the screening of the movie Mama Mia! Here We Go Again, at 7.30pm.

Then, the following weekend, attention shifts to the most unique sailing event on Lake Macquarie, the Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta.

It starts with a fun charity dinner at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto, on Friday, February 22, at 6.30pm.

Guests will include Tom Braidwood, a participant in several Volvo Round The World Yacht Races, and Erica Kirby, an international sailing protest judge. Both will be interviewed by ABC Newcastle sports broadcaster, Helene O’Neill.

Previous years

The action returns to the water on Saturday, February 23, for the regatta which is now in its 13th year and continues its quest to raise funds for cancer patients in the Hunter.

About 80 boats are expected to take part, and proceeds from the event fund the Home Help Program, overseen by Cancer Council NSW. The program provides domestic support to cancer patients who need help around the home.

The regatta is organised and run by Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto, and features a variety of events including a 24-hour endurance race.

“It’s a challenging event – particularly the 24-hour endurance race, but I know all of the crews look forward to the test,” the club’s vice commodore, Mel Steiner, said.

“I recall one crew member – a lady, describing it as like giving birth, but you come back for more. The regatta has become a hugely popular event on the sailing calendar but it’s also a great spectacle for those watching from the shore,” Mr Steiner said.

The regatta will also feature specially designed courses to cater for different types of vessel including yachts, trailer sailers, multi hulls and larger off-the-beach vessels.

Heaven Can Wait was the brainchild of Lake Macquarie resident, keen sailor, and cancer survivor Shaun Lewicki.

For more details on Heaven Can Wait and Lakefest  visit heavencanwait.com.au and lakefest.com.au.

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