CRUISE FOR CHARITY: (left to right) Cruise for Charity organiser George Duck and president of Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club Heather Sugget with skipper Tony Coutts-Smith who was presented with the Chronicle trophy.
CRUISE FOR CHARITY: (left to right) Cruise for Charity organiser George Duck and president of Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club Heather Sugget with skipper Tony Coutts-Smith who was presented with the Chronicle trophy. Blake Antrobus

Cruise for Charity raises $5000 for local charity groups

AS A sailing enthusiast, Tony Coutts-Smith couldn't think of a better way to top off his week by winning the 15th Annual Hervey Bay Cruise for Charity Regatta.

The skipper of New Horizons won the trophy for the fastest time in Sunday's event, which saw 13 boats set sail on the Urangan harbour to raise funds for the Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club.

The club then redistributes the funds to local charities in need and the region's rural fire brigades.

Knowing the regatta was for a cause, Mr Coutts-Smith said it made being out on the water "all the more special".

"It's a lovely thing to do, it's good to be helping out everyone else who needs the funding," he said.

"There's a lot of competition out there, with a lot of others who were in the regatta."

An open auction was held on the Saturday before the race, allowing the participating yachts to be sold to sponsors.

Over $5000 was raised for the local groups from the auction and the donations.

Sunday's win was a first for Mr Coutts-Smith, who previously entered the regatta in 2012.

But for next year, he wants to see more boats out there.

"We want to try and get the boats that don't often get a run that much out on the water," Mr Coutts-Smith said.

"I'd definitely encourage people to give it a go, to make a difference with these groups and have some fun."

Event organiser George Duck said this year's event was a particularly special milestone, given the club had run it for the past 15 years.



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