Last Sunday was the fifth edition of this event that looks to raise funds and awareness in supporting vocation and employment opportunities for youth on the Southern Peninsula, with all proceeds from the event being directed to the newly opened headspace satellite in Rosebud.

We had Leisl Jackson, Manager headspace Frankston in attendance who spoke about the newly opened facility in Rosebud and how they work with both the Mornington Peninsula Youth Services and the Brotherhood of St Laurence in providing a range of services and programs that provide help, support and safe spaces for our youth.

These organisations are making a difference and they are very appreciative of the support and the awareness that events like this create. Mornington Peninsula Youth Services also set up marquees on the day with a range of activities for people to interact with and also arranged music for the day – with Jake and Tom entertaining competitors, guests and members on the deck over lunch.

Given the indifferent weather we’ve been having, it was a relief to again have a glorious day – we must be doing something right to have the continuing support of the weather gods! The incoming tide certainly helped on the outbound legs, but it did make it a tad harder on the return!

We had 19 teams competing this year and the decision to replace the bike leg with a stand up paddle board (“SUP”) was very well received, allowing all legs to be viewed from the beach. This attracted the support from SUP Victoria and I have to thank George Thomas, their President, for his enthusiasm in embracing the event and members of SUP Victoria in participating on the day.

Handicaps were again applied with the aim of having all teams finishing around the same time and Deep Bluu (Jayce Gilbert, Sean Avno, Fiona Sargeant, and Michael Abdilla) were the ones to get under the handicappers guard and win the handicap prize.

The overall winner was once again the Portsea Kings. The Kings were strong across all legs of the event, holding off a determined Commodore’s Team in second with last year’s winners the Portsea Queens completing the podium.  Having now won four times, a number of teams have vowed to end the King’s reign next year!

Taking into account the commitment from competing teams and those who have promised to be part of next year’s event, all bodes well for the next edition to be the best yet!

Winners are grinners!  Above – The Portsea Kings (Andrew Nash, Peter Bolton, Drew McLennan and missing Nick Bowden) with the trophy that was presented by Leisl Jackson, Manager headspace Frankston.

A BIG thank you again to the volunteers who gave up their time on Sunday morning, starting with Harriette Singh and Gordon Hyde helping arrange volunteers and laying of the courses. Out on the water were Michael Rubira, John Lindholm, Flynn Cleland and Ray Woff and directing traffic on the waters edge were Mark Grimshaw and Garry Connolly. Coping admirably with last minute registrations were Sandy Lindholm, Jo Ischia and Andrea Devereux with Jeremy Bulk and Malcolm Farfor helping me out in explaining the courses to participants.

The biggest thank you again though goes to my wonderful wife Andrea for not only her support on all the admin associated with the event, but also being the person responsible for arranging donations and prizes for the day that allowed us to also conduct a silent auction and a raffle on the day.

I should add that for those who liked the flyer for this year’s event, the credit goes to my son James for designing the graphics and the layout.

This year we had two major sponsors and our sincere thanks goes to:

• Searoad Ferries and Hocking Stuart | Belle Property Blairgowrie
Our thanks also goes to the following businesses who generously donated prizes and or items for the silent auction:
• Pizza D’oh Blairgowrie
• Albumworks
• Paringa Estate
• Hickinbotham of Dromana
• Pier 10
• Peninsula Cinemas Rosebud
• All Smiles Sorrento
• Peninsula Hot Springs
• Dromana Estate
• Locked In Escape Rooms
• Pt Leo Estate
• Lindenderry Red Hill
• Mornington Sea Glass
• Global Ballooning
• Jackalope Hotels
• Mornington Peninsula Brewery
• Rock & Stone Outdoor Living
and supporters of the event who allowed us to display our advertising boards:
• Sorrento Community Centre
• Trueman’s Golf Range
• Jennings & Sons
• Koonya General Store
• Anthony Syros
• Wayne Mercer
• Steve Casper
The event was followed by lunch on the deck and we thank our F&B staff for making all the competitors and their guests feel most welcome.

The strong purpose of the event resonated with all competitors and their guests and the feedback was most encouraging in wanting the event to continue to grow in raising awareness and providing a tangible way to support organisations that provide such a valuable community service.

Paul Devereux