The Serious Side of Fun
Ask any boatie and you would be hard pressed not to find someone who hasn’t heard of the Shaggers of Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC). Yet even as sponsors, Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard (GCCM) discovered a great deal when we sat down with the man who started it all (alongside his beautiful wife Rhonda) and a couple of Vice Commodores.
First of all, SICYC is the fastest growing cruising club for boat owners certainly in Australia if not the world. The club now has 6,300 members from 17 different countries all of whom are life members, affectionately known as Shaggers and officially as Vice Commodores for the club which is exclusively non-exclusive. It is clear that those who join the ranks of SICYC are the embodiment of fun, yet there is a serious side to the group; their charitable efforts. SICYC has raised $530,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia in nine years.
Founder, Ken Thackeray OAM, explained, “There was no intention for SICYC to become more than a small social network for cruising yachties however it soon become clear we were in a position to make money and prostate cancer was recommended by one of our ladies who had experienced it in her family.”
It was only natural then that GCCM become a sponsor and partner to SICYC not only due to the love of cruising but also to support a very worthy cause.
“The support offered by GCCM is absolutely fantastic. Not only do they provide a professional service at preferential rates for our members, yet they contribute as a major sponsor in our quest to raise money for Prostate Cancer Awareness. GCCM has become part of the SICYC family. We have developed a very close and unique relationship with its sponsor group and GCCM was recognised in our annual awards night for the strength of its partnership with the organisation,” continued Ken.
Each year SICYC hosts their rendezvous on namesake, Shag Islet, in Gloucester Passage in the Whitsunday Islands. This year the event was held from the 23rd – 26th August where over 150 yachts attended. As the shaggers migrate to the event, many coming from further south, stop at GCCM to undertake some annual maintenance.
Scott and Kim Murray, Vice Commodores for 18 months and owners of the 70-foot Hatteras Scott Free offered, “Our homeport WAS Akuna Bay but we live on the boat now. We have left Sydney behind with no plans to return and hope to just wander up and down the Queensland coast until we get tired of it. We chose GCCM to lift our boat for a couple of reasons. They offered a discount to Shaggers and they have a lift that is big enough to handle our boat. However, after we arrived at GCCM, we were absolutely delighted with the decision. The level of service and courtesy was exceptional. They looked after every little tiny (and annoying request) with a smile. Any and every trade we wanted was there and available. The tradies on site are a credit to the GCCM, on time and professional. Special mention to Kevin Altera, JB, Travis, Angie and the girls in the office. They were such a lovely and welcoming bunch of people. After this very positive experience, it is now our intention to get our boat lifted only at GCCM when its needed. We will travel from wherever it is, back down to the Gold Coast.”
Graeme and Marlene Williamson, Shaggers for seven years and owners of 35-foot Sailing Catamaran Lightwave Asif , were the lucky bidders in the Rendezvous’ charity auction taking home a ‘Ultimate Boating Experience Voucher’ from GCCM. “We joined SICYC within days of moving to Queensland just over seven years ago for the new social contacts and was immediately amazed by the warmth and openness of my then new acquaintances and friends. We are based in South East Queensland so were happy to have the winning bid and the initial welcome to the marina and coffee in the adjacent cafe was a great start. I was also very impressed with the care taken during the haulout. The anti-fouling and prop speed were completed efficiently. The hull cleaning and polishing was also done very well, as was the fitting of our new sail cover. We intend on returning to the marina for some berthing,” explained Graeme.
“The partnership between SICYC and GCCM is something of which we are very proud. Through SICYC, we are contributing to the awareness around a significant illness. Yet, we also have more in common – SICYC are encouraging more and more people to enjoy boating whilst GCCM is aiming to get boats back in the water as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can be enjoyed,” explained GCCM’s General Manager of Customer Experience and Property Management, Luke McCaul.
CEO Trenton Gay and Luke McCaul will be attending the Rendezvous in the Whitsundays next week and are looking forward to meeting other Vice Commodores and sharing a laugh for a good cause.
For just $65, anyone can become a life member of SICYC and a join a fraternity of likeminded, fun loving and charitable people who are always welcomed at GCCM.