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2023 Go East Rally poised to begin

The Boat Works has welcomed the cruising community involved in the 2023 Down Under Rally. This is the 10th year The Boat Works has supported this amazing sailing endeavour.

The fleet of 21 cruising yachts, sailing mono and multihulls, with around 60 sailors, are preparing ahead of their departure, with the 2023 Go East Yacht Rally

“Vessel owners arrive to our destination from various locations across Australia for their pre-season preparations ahead of travels along the east coast of Australia and over to explore the South Pacific,” said Shane Subichin, Marina Manager at The Boat Works.

“Owners enjoy use of the onsite Marine Trade Supplies & Chandlery, along with access to the array of marine trade professionals conveniently located here to ensure their vessels are well prepared for the massive voyage ahead – some 800 nautical miles.”

The emphasis of The Down Under Rally (DUR) is to provide training and support for participants before, during and after the voyage.

Founders John and Leanne Hembrow, who have been hosting the DUR since 2015 share their extensive knowledge about sailing, encouraging sailors to adventure together, gain confidence on board their vessels and discover new cruising grounds.

“Participants in the 2023 Down Under Rally Go East Yacht Rally to New Caledonia have gathered at The Boat Works for a week of informative and social events before setting sail on mid-May (subject to weather),” John explained.

Events included Meet The Fleet Cocktails & Canapes evening at Kokomo Kitchen & Bar, Safety & Sea Survival Training provided by Sunshine Sailing Australia, Marine First Aid Training with Heart Training Australia, Kokomo BBQ, Morning Yoga sessions with Yoga4Yachties, PredictWind Iridium Satellite Communications user information sessions and Offshore Weather Routing & Passage Planning sessions, followed by the Bon Voyage Kokomo Masquerade Party at Kokomo Kitchen & Bar.

John Hembrow said the DUR returns to The Boat Works every year for its unparalleled convenience and comfort, along with the consideration and cooperation of The Boat Works staff.

“Many of our participants call The Boat Works home for several weeks in the lead-up to the rally as they engage the services of the onsite professionals to assist with preparing their vessels for the adventures ahead.

“In August 2023, many of the Go East Rally participant’s will sail onwards from New Caledonia to Vanuatu, with The Down Under Rally as part of the NC2V Yacht Rally. These vessels will be carrying some much-anticipated cargo that will be given to the people of Tanna and Erromango Islands.”

John and Leanne have consulted with representatives and chiefs from the villages in the remote Southern Vanuatu Islands of Tanna and Erromango to create a ‘wish list’ of school supplies and much need hand tools.

“This wish list was passed onto the rally participants who have gone about gathering the items that will be delivered when they visit in early August,” continued John.

“The hand tools will be used to assist in rebuilding homes and community buildings, many of which were either severely damaged or destroyed by the recent severe cyclones that impacted the region.”

Also in short supply are feminine hygiene products. The Down Under Rally has arranged for the delivery of Days For Girls feminine hygiene solutions to the girls and the women of these communities.

The local and international cruising community has also contributed to supplying 132 solar lights as part of the Down Under Rally Lights For Vanuatu project.

Previous Go East Rally participants from the Sailing Vessel, SV Phase 2 commented: “It’s a great way to start our first trip East from Australia. If you are a first timer (or not) and would like to see this beautiful part of the world (New Caledonia & Vanuatu) John and Leanne will make it that much easier.”

The owners of S.V San Souci who have participated in the past said “Congratulations to you both for the outstanding work you do in running the Down Under East and West rallies. As past Down Under Rally Go East Rally participants, I can only say that the assistance and information you guys both gave to us goes far and above expectations.”

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