Port Hacking boaties step back in time

Colourful parade: The 2019 Port Hacking Putters Regatta Parade of Vessels passes Gunnamatta Baths.Picture John Veage
Colourful parade: The 2019 Port Hacking Putters Regatta Parade of Vessels passes Gunnamatta Baths.Picture John Veage

It might be the dawn of a new decade but its also when local boaties step back in time as the Port Hacking Putt Putt and Wooden Boat Regatta gets ready to hit the water on Sunday, February 2.

The event celebrates the history of boating on the Port Hacking River and helps raise awareness about boating safety.

The colourful Parade of Vessels will navigate from Hungry Point to Lilli Pilli Point, passing a number of public viewing sites from where residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the flotilla of classic vessels with skippers and their crews dressed in period costume and fancy dress.

The Regatta will start at Hungry Point at 9 am, passing the public viewing sites at Gunnamatta Bay (9.30am), the Royal Motor Yacht Club Cronulla (9.40am), Lugarno Avenue (9.45am), Burraneer Bay Marina (10.15pm), Wally's Wharf (10:25) and Lilli Pilli Reserve (10.45pm-11.30pm).

Commodore of the Port Hacking Putters, Brad Whittaker, said the regatta would be wonderful community event with a range of prizes and awards to be presented to skippers and crews at the RYMC later that evening.

"Our local waterways are a jewel in the crown of Sutherland Shire and central to the amazing lifestyle opportunities that exist in our local area," Brad said.

"The Regatta will be a great way to celebrate our community, promote safe boating and raise support and awareness for our local volunteer Marine Rescue NSW team"

"The volunteers from Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking do an amazing job providing a 24/7 rescue service to the local boating community on Port Hacking and Georges River, Botany Bay and offshore waters. We will be raising funds to support them with the aid of the Tom Thumb III, a gold coin donation to the regatta presentation being hosted by the RMYC".

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey said it was crucial that boaters put safety first on the water.

"Our volunteers are professionally trained and resourced for our mission of saving lives on the water. They are standing watch over our local waters to rescue boaters who find themselves in trouble but a few simple safety precautions can help you have an enjoyable and trouble-free day on the water "

"The most important safety measure is to ensure that everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket. Log On with Marine Rescue using your marine radio, phone or the free MarineRescue App." the NSW Deputy Commissioner said.

Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking Unit Commander Lewis Stockbridge encouraged local boaters to take advantage of the free Log On safety service.

"It's a simple process. Tell us where you're headed, how many people are on board and when you're planning to return,"Lewis said

"If you haven't Logged Off as expected and we can't get in touch with you, we'll start to search for you. We'll also have a starting point for a search operation, which saves valuable time.

"Our unit's 144 volunteers are committed to helping keep boaters safe on the water."

The Regatta is proudly supported by ColorTile Miranda, Cronulla Real Estate, Burraneer Bay Marina, Cronulla Ferries the Royal Motor Yacht Club and other local businesses.

For more information, to keep updated or to register your putt putt, wooden or classic vessel in the Regatta, visit the Port Hacking Putters website (www.porthackingputters.com.au), their Facebook or Instagram pages.