An early arrival gave participants in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race a full week to take in the sights and sounds of the Whitsundays.
As the fleet set off for the next leg of their journey, some competitors from this first half of the race had this as their final destination as the crews had some turnover at the halfway point of this 11 month race.
English sailor Anthony Clifford had been on his boat LMAX Exchange for five months travelling from London before his arrival and spoke highly of his time in Australia.
“I’ve loved it, I’ve loved the experience, it’s been warm… well hot actually but it’s a beautiful place and I’ll definitely be coming back at some stage,” he says.
The locals also drew plenty of praise for their hospitality and their accommodating spirit.
“Really welcoming, the motel I’m staying at couldn’t be more helpful so it’s been a really great welcome from the local,” he says.
It was a good end to his time in the race as LMAX Exchange won that leg by a mere 42 seconds over Great Britain.
Brisbane local Stephen Wilson took part in the leg from Albany in Western Australia but was full of praise for his time on the race.
“Loved it, it was everything I had hoped for and probably a bit more.”
In his mind, Abell Point Marina was a fantastic place for the Australian leg of the race to have its stopover.
“It’s just gorgeous, the setup is fantastic, people are friendly and you’ve got the Barrier Reef on your doorstep,” he says.
Organisers of the race were very happy with the way that the region has handled the event and have said that when the time comes in two years, they would happily consider a return to our town.