Lakefest: Aquatic festival for Lake Macquarie

GETTING ACTIVE: Paddlefest at Speers Point Park forms part of Lakefest and encourages community members to hit the water for a cause. Picture: David Stewart

GETTING ACTIVE: Paddlefest at Speers Point Park forms part of Lakefest and encourages community members to hit the water for a cause. Picture: David Stewart

Lake Macquarie will be overflowing with water activities from February 17-26 for Lakefest Aquatic Week.

Lakefest is a combined initiative of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, Wangi Amateur Sailing Club, Belmont 16-footers and Toronto Rotary Sunrise.

The concept was born from the successful running of the Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta in 2013.

Now there will be a week-long festival celebrating the lake and the many water-based activities that can be done there.

It starts with Heaven Can Wait’s Charity Dinner on February 17 at the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto where 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton, Paralympic gold medallist Liesl Tesch and Tom Addis, the navigator of Sydney to Hobart race winner Perpetual Loyal, will be the guest speakers.

It will be followed by two days of racing with the regatta raising funds to support cancer patients in the Hunter region.

On February 18 there will be a Junior Pirate Fun Race out of Belmont 16-foot Sailing Club, where dressing in pirate gear to board your vessel is encouraged.

Boatfest will be staged at Rathmines Park on February 19 and involves participation and exhibition of traditional and classic boats. They include steam, sail, motor and oared craft of all sizes, all requiring to be a design prior to 1975. It is a free event at the grounds of the old Catalina Flying Boat base on Lake Macquarie.

Rotary Paddlefest is on at Speers Point Park on February 26 and project director Pam Dean-Jones said they were encouraging all members of the community to get involved.

“It is so easy to participate and have fun with the many forms of paddling that are on offer … for the minimal entry fee of $25 per participant,” she said.

All proceeds from Paddlefest this year will go towards supporting families in the community impacted by cancer and also to the John Hunter Hospital youth mental health unit.

Sailability Toronto will hold a day of racing and fun competition on February 26 at the Sailability Annex to Toronto Amateur Sailing Club, on Victory Parade, Toronto.

For more information, go to lakefest.com.au.

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