He may have won the trophy for line honours in the Heaven Can Wait 24-hour sailing race, but for Garry van Dijk there was another sweet reward at the end of the marathon event. Sleep.
"I was pretty tired," said the skipper of catamaran Tasha, after covering 103.5 nautical miles in the 24 hours. "I was in bed by six o'clock on Sunday night."
Tasha was one of 43 boats competing in the Heaven Can Wait regatta on Lake Macquarie on the weekend. Six of those sail boats participated in the endurance race, with Selene being the winner on handicap.
Regatta director and vice commodore of Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto, Mel Steiner, said Mother Nature was in a kind mood - almost too kind - with light winds slowing the fleet at times.
While numbers were down this year, due to COVID and a shallow Swansea Channel preventing larger boats from entering the lake, Mr Steiner said the charity regatta still raised about $35,000, primarily for the Hunter branch of Cancer Council NSW.
Susan Russell, the Cancer Council's Community Programs Coordinator for the Hunter, said the event was about more than just the amount of money raised for the region's cancer patients.
"People through their own selfless efforts are raising money to help those who can't look after themselves," Ms Russell said.
Mr van Dijk, himself a melanoma survivor, said he would participate in the 24-hour race again next year.
"After a race like that, you come away satisfied you've done it," he said.
Read more: Sailing out of the cancer storm
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