Clipper weekend regatta whets the appetite for cruising

“It was all over too quickly,” said John about the Clipper Gold Coast Regatta in April.

A flotilla of 10 classic-style boats cruised the Gold Coast waterways for an evening of fun and relaxation at the Dux, a private retreat at the northern end of South Stradbroke Island.

For John and wife Jill who own a Clipper 52, this was their first Clipper regatta and they were delighted to find new friends. “We got along with everyone,” said John. “It was as if we had known them for quite a long time.”

As the regatta ended, the couple parted with the rest of the flotilla that headed home. The weekend was the beginning of a long cruise north.

The regatta began with a get-to-know-you party at Southport Yacht Club at the southern end of the Gold Coast Broadwater on Friday evening. The newly arrived Clipper Cordova 45 was the centrepiece of the party and a strong talking point for guests.

After an evening of fine wines and good food, most people stayed the night on their boats at the yacht club and set out in convoy on Saturday morning. The entire Clipper range – from the Heritage 36 and 40 – through the Cordova range to the flagship 60 were represented for the first time on a Clipper regatta since they began just two years ago.

The proud new owners of Australia’s first Clipper Cordova 45, John and Gayle, were delighted that Clipper provided a professional skipper to show them the ropes of their new boat. “Learning how to manoeuvre the boat with the twin engines and bow thrusters was important,” said John. “Skipper Jeremy was a great help. I learned so much about the boat in just the two days.”

The Clipper team, headed by Managing Director Brett Thurley, prepared a barbecue at the Dux on Saturday evening. “The weather was kind to us and everyone shared time,” said Brett. “The Clipper fraternity is becoming very close. We have people coming back again and again to our events. So I guess we must be doing something right.”

For John and Gayle, the next event cannot come soon enough. “We were guests at the Hervey Bay regatta last year,” said John. “That is our home waterway and we loved the whale watching. This year we will be able to join the regatta on our own new Clipper. We can’t wait!”