Shaggers gather to over indulge and support cause

Published on August 20th, 2014

A group of yachties who are big on fun but low on pretence are turning the traditional notion of snooty bricks and mortar yacht club membership on its head with a club motto of ‘exclusively non-exclusive’ and a nick name widely known as ‘The Shaggers’.

The Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC) is a virtual yacht club which has stripped away the traditional yacht club hierarchy and with it, the connection to a physical clubhouse. Created to maintain a network for cruising yachties, every member is a vice commodore and represents an individual nautical location (an island, islet, river or bay) about which they have some knowledge and a willingness to share advice or assistance with other vice commodores. The SICYC has just reached 3,200 members which spread across 13 countries.

The Club is named after Shag Islet, which is situated in the Gloucester Passage in the Whitsundays in North Queensland, Australia, and home to the Club’s annual SICYC Rendezvous at which hundreds of vice commodores gather on the last weekend in August.

This year, up to 240 yachts and 1000 people are expected to converge on the tiny islet from August 28 to 31, for a three day festival of boating, music, and a good dose of over indulgence.

But while the Shag Islet yachties are united in their desire to not take life too seriously, they are also deeply passionate about using their collective enthusiasm and personal good fortune to help important causes.

This year, as part of their three day celebrations, they will create ‘hands across the blue’ where participating boats will form in the shape of a blue ribbon to represent the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia logo. Prostate Cancer is the charity of cause for the SICYC with many charity events run throughout the country by various members to raise awareness and funds for research. The club has raised $80,000 over the past three years through its social events.

Shag Islet vice commodore and Rendezvous organiser Ken Thackery said having a good time in the name of the good cause was representative of the culture of the Club.

“Our members come from all over Australia and all walks of life – but most have got to a point in their life where they have achieved their own personal goals, they are in a position to enjoy life to the fullest – but at the same time want to contribute something back. Prostate cancer is something that has touched the lives of many of our vice commodores and supporting the Foundation to continue with research allows us to feel we are having a meaningful contribution.

“Clearly the annual Rendezvous is an opportunity for us all to let our hair down, socialise and let loose in a magical location – but do it with a good cause in mind makes it all the more enjoyable for us,” said Ken.

Click here for 2014 Rendezvous information.

Source: Luke McCaul, Abell Point Marina

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