Heaven Can Wait fundraising approaches $30,000

Heaven Can Wait Yacht Race Regatta 2012
Ric Black
Just on $30,000 has been raised by sailors and supporters participating in the 2012 Heaven Can Wait Charity Yacht Regatta, held on Lake Macquarie (south of Newcastle) on September 29-30.

The race, which is held to raise funds for men's cancer research and support projects, includes the challenging Heaven Can Wait 24 Hour Yacht Race, as well as a 12 Hour option and a 'One Lap Dash' around the 30 Nm course.

The race began in a stiff 30 kn northwesterly breeze which blew up minutes before the start, and provided some challenging conditions for the 72 sailing boats on the startline -- which included racing and cruising yachts, sportstboats, multihulls, skiffs, foiling moths and kite surfers.

Fundraising activities included competing yachts seeking sponsorship from crew, family, friends, colleagues and other supporters -- with just over $23,800 raised so far. Donations are still being taken, and can be made by going here, then clicking on the name of a boat through which the donation is to be made.

As well, a further $2,535.00 was raised through the Heaven Can Wait race entry system by those skippers who elected not to seek sponsorship -- but instead pay a donation direct to the Cancer Council as part of their entry fee, while Toronto Rotary raised $350 through the sale of food and refreshments to sailors before and after the race.

An additional $3000 was raised by the Australian trailer-sailer community, with Hunter Valley-based sailor Simon Rock generously raffling off a week on his Catalina 320 Whitsundays-based charter yacht (at $1 a ticket), in memory of Paul David, a long-time contributor to and supporter of trailer-sailer community website and resource (TSP) who recently passed away after a battle with cancer.

During Paul's illness, fellow TSP participant Simon Rock had offered Paul a week's free use of his Whitsundays charter Catalina 320 Rockstar – but sadly Paul was unable to take advantage of this offer before he died in early September.

'Paul was an active member for many years, including being the author of the very popular and extremely informative sailing manual, 'Welcome Aboard' (which is available here),' said Simon.

'We decided to combine the raffle with HCW, so as to maximise the money raised in the fight against cancer.'

'ALL of the tickets sold will go to the anti-cancer cause, and we will pick up any costs ourselves,' he said.

'This would not be possible without the generous support of the Whitsundays leading charter company Charter Yachts Australia – you can visit them here.'

Heaven Can Wait PRO Blake Middleton took it upon himself to actively sell raffle tickets during the event, raising an additional $650 in the process.

Just on a week following the event, with just a few days to go, the total raised stood at $29,766.05.

And a final reminder: It's still not too late to donate to the 2012 Heaven Can Wait cancer fund; simply go here and click on the boat you'd like to support.

Heaven Can Wait website