History to come to life on the hacking

Historic: The last Putt Putt Regatta passes spectators at Lilli Pilli .Picture John Veage
Historic: The last Putt Putt Regatta passes spectators at Lilli Pilli .Picture John Veage

Boaties can step back in time again on Sunday, February 3, for the Putt Putt and Wooden Boat Regatta, an event that celebrates the history of boating on the Port Hacking River and will help raise awareness about boating safety.

The Regatta that was held in the 1990’s is seeking to attract an array of the historic vessels - some of which were built locally, dating back to the early 1900s - that still call the Hacking home.

The Hackings protected, clean waters and beautiful bushland surroundings have long provided a popular setting for recreational activities and continue to make our area an ideal place to enjoy time on the water.

The Regatta will see a flotilla of boats take part in a Parade of Vessels in a loop around the river, passing a number of public viewing sites from where local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the vista.

Skippers and their crews taking part in the Regatta are encouraged to add colour and flair to the event by dressing in period costume or fancy dress.

The Regatta will start at Hungry Point at 11am, passing the public viewing sites at Gunnamatta Bay (11.25am), the Royal Motor Yacht Club Cronulla (11.35am), Lugarno Avenue (11.40am), Burraneer Bay Marina (12.05pm), Wally’s Wharf (12:15) and Lilli Pilli Reserve (12.30pm-1pm).

Commodore of the Port Hacking Putters, Brad Whittaker, said the regatta would be a family friendly event with a range of prizes and awards to be presented to skippers and crews.

“Many people have fond memories of spending time on the Port Hacking River. The Regatta will be a great way to celebrate and remember those carefree days just putting around on our local waters,” Brad said.

“So scrub the decks, crank up the engine and join us for a great community event.”

The Regatta will also have a serious boating safety message, highlighting the important services of Marine Rescue NSW to save lives on the water.

The volunteers from Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking provide a 24/7 rescue service to the local boating community on the Port Hacking and Georges rivers, Botany Bay and offshore waters.

MRNSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey encouraged boaters to make safety their number one priority.

“Whenever you’re heading out on the water, make sure everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket and Log On with MRNSW using your marine radio, telephone or the Marine Rescue app so you have the peace of mind of knowing someone is watching out for you,” he said.

Lewis Stockbridge representing Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking said boaters should take advantage of the free safety service.

“Logging On is quick and simple. Tell us where you’re headed, how many people are on board and when you’re planning to return. If you’re not back safely and haven’t Logged Off as scheduled, we’ll start to search for you,” he said.

“Our unit’s 133 professionally trained and equipped volunteers are committed to helping keep boaters safe on the water.”

The event is proudly support by a number of local businesses including ColorTile Miranda, Covergirl Marine Trimming and Burraneer Bay Marina.

For more information, to keep updated or to register your wooden boat or putter for the Regatta visit the Port Hacking Putters Facebook Page.