Do you like spending time in the beautiful lakeside town of Paynesville? If so head down and enjoy a three-day celebration of classic boats, maritime culture and cruising on the Gippsland Lakes.
In its third event in the past five years, Paynesville Classic Boat Rally, which will be held on February 28 and 29 and March 1, promises to deliver a spectacular collection of more than 300 classic boats on water, ranging from tall ships, sailing vessels, classic motor boats, skiffs, fishing boats, small craft and more.
If it’s older than 25 years, or of historical value, you just might see it at the rally. Paynesville Classic Boat Rally event manager, Cherie Draper, said there are so many magnificent boats to see up close and in action across the weekend. “We have boat entries from right across Australia, even with the bushfires,” she said.
“We’ve got over 150 boats registered to stay on the water in Paynesville and then we’ve got land displays. They are all classic boats over 25 years of all different types.
“There will be wooden boats, sail boats to power boats and the whole works.
“You don’t have to be a boatie to come down.”
After the devastating bushfires that continue to burn, Cherie says that this year’s event is all about giving East Gippsland something to smile about.
“The idea really is to give East Gippsland something to celebrate and enjoy,” she said.
“We will be raising money for bushfire-affected communities as well.”
On the Saturday, the grand parade features all boats available on water as they sail past the crowds and through the strait into open waters.
Feature events such as motor boat runabout, fishing boat challenge and quick and dirty boat building are happening all weekend as well as cruises on the tall ship, Coral Trekker, Lady Jane and more.
“The Coral Trekker is our lead boat and will start making its way down from Sydney Harbour soon,” Cherie said. “Take your own boat out at your leisure for a trip on the Gippsland Lakes and return to share stories with other boat lovers. “It really is an event for everyone.” On land the trailered boats make a fantastic display of classic wooden, fibreglass and rowing boats.
Rooftop dinghies will line the foreshore and music, entertainment and maritime stall holders will await your discovery.
The Paynesville Classic Boat rally has seen more than 8000 people attend over its past events.
IMAGE: The Coral Trekker will be the lead boat at the Paynesville Classic Boat Rally, which will take place on the pristine Gippsland Lakes on February 28 and 29 and March 1. (PS)