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New blood for Abell Point Yacht Club

By Mark Beale

THE Abell Point Yacht Club is about to convene for its 2014 AGM with a focus on new blood and a rejuvenated outlook.

Current commodore Rupert King said the club was looking to expand its horizons by catering not just for sailors but also power and trailer boat owners and anyone with an interest in getting out on the Whitsunday waters.

Last week, a steering committee consisting of Mr King, local diver Ken Sharpe, chandlery owner Colin Bell, keen fisherman Kevin Collins and Abell Point Marina representative Luke McCaul, met to talk about potential plans.

Describing himself as “new and enthusiastic” Mr Collins said he hoped to bring ” a bit of business acumen” to the club, in addition to his boating and cruising experience.

His ideas for the future included catering to the cruising community and owners of power yachts, who would welcome rallies without “big fuel burns”.

Mr Sharpe said he would like to see the club connecting the boat owners in the marina, with simple events such as barbeques.

Mr King and Mr Bell said their focus was still on the sailing and cruising aspects of the club, with a commitment to grow the annual Coral Coast Rally and race.

Mr McCaul said from a corporate sponsor’s point of view, the Abell Point Yacht Club had the potential to play a large part in marina owner Paul Darrouzet’s overall vision for the precinct.

“What we’re trying to do here is not compete against the racing scene – it’s more of a lifestyle yacht club we’re looking to achieve,” he said.

All those on the steering committee paid homage to the model followed by the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club, whose annual rendezvous in the Gloucester Passage has become somewhat of a phenomenon. “We’d love to create something like the ‘Shaggers’ where people come from all over Australia to be part of a social group,” Mr McCaul said. The steering committee are asking everyone with an interest in boating to come along to the AGM on Tuesday, December 11 and bring their ideas.

The AGM will be held at 5.30pm in the training room at the marina’s north village and will be followed by a barbecue.

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