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Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta 2020

The dates again for the 14th running of this fabulous charity event, are February 22 and 23 with the Heaven Can Wait Charity Dinner to be held on Friday February 21st.

The Entry and Fundraising Systems are now up and running so why not get your entry in now for the greatest fundraising regatta of its type on Lake Macquarie. Simply go to

Now let me tell you about the Heaven Can Wait Charity Dinner

We again have some great guests lined up to attend and be interviewed by Helene O’Neil – well known Newcastle ABC Sports commentator and the theme – ‘It’s All About Women’. Our guests are:

Jan Howard has 14 Sydney to Hobart Races (1979 – 2006) to her credit. She – along with Mary Holley (also 14 Hobart Races to her credit), started the ‘She Sails’ program at NCYC and won the inaugural Australian Sailing ‘She Sails’ award in 2019. Mary is not attending, but Jan is and has put together a panel of women – three of whom have just done their first Hobart Race.

Peta Norris has sailed with RMYC Toronto and NCYC and progressed from lake sailing to offshore races such as Sydney to Gold Coast Race 2019. She has recently done her first Sydney to Hobart on ‘Copernicus’.

Courtney Smith is one of the young Sailing Academy Instructors. She has come up through the Youth Program and also sails dinghies (VS’s) from Teralba Sailing Club. Courtney has just done her first Sydney to Hobart on ‘Frantic’ – a TP52, after doing the 2019 Sydney – Gold Coast with them.

Jacqueline Ellis is the NCYC Sailing Academy Manager and former World Laser Radial Champion. In 2018 Jacqui was awarded the prestigious Barrenjoey Pin for her success as an Australian representative at multiple Laser Radial Worlds, claiming two Gold medals, a Silver and Bronze between 1988 and 1996.

Rebecca Connor is from NCYC and is owner and skipper of ‘Wonderland’ – a Beneteau 47. Rebecca is quite new to ocean racing and competed in her first Sydney to Hobart 2019.

This is a great line up of women sailors, so if any of the women in our sailing community are interested in knowing what inspires these women to sail and how they handled mixing it with the guys, then you need to be there. You can book your place at the Charity Dinner by going to

The Heaven Can Wait Regatta is no ordinary regatta. It is not only an event that involves some pretty challenging – even endurance level racing, but it is also a major fund raising event for the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW and specifically their Home Help Program.

The Home Help Program provides domestic support to both recovering and terminal cancer patients who – because of their condition, are unable to fulfil their domestic responsibilities. A small amount of the funds raised also goes to Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue who provide on water support during the running of the regatta.

So, by entering this regatta and participating in the fundraising effort, you will not only have a great sailing experience, but you will also be DOING THE RIGHT THING and helping a charity that helps so many other people in need. So, get your crew, family, friends and work colleagues in on the act by supporting your efforts to raise funds for this fabulous cause.

There are some important updates to the NOR, so please take the time to read them. The main changes are to the close off dates for entry (refer paragraph 3) and rules when carrying spinnakers (refer paragraph 1). The NOR along with the latest news, can be viewed and / or downloaded from

Pre-race entertainment will once again be provided by well known Hunter region aerobatic pilot – Paul Bennet of Paul Bennet Air Shows. Those who participated in last year’s regatta will recall Pauls stunning aerobatic work over the waters in front of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto and I know he will be equally as stunning for the 2020 regatta.

Once again, The HCW Regatta will be a part of Lakefest – a celebration of aquatic activity on Lake Macquarie from Saturday February 15 through Saturday March 7 and details of the Lakefest events will be posted on the Lakefest website – as they are confirmed. There will be lots of activity on the Lake, so why not come up early and participate in some of the other events planned for Lakefest.

All you need to do is free up your time for this great event – whether it be a quick dash around the lake with the One Lap Dash (or part of the lake with the Short One Lap Dash), the Challenge of the 12 Hour race or the 24 Hour Endurance Race. JUST BE THERE.

We look forward to seeing you on the 21st for the dinner and / or the 22nd for the Regatta.

by Melvyn Steiner

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