The recently held 2021 Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta (HCW) has raised $38,000 at a time when the recovery from the Covid19 pandemic was – and still is, at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Regatta Director and Vice Commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club – Mel Steiner said ‘2021 was a tough year for fund raising with the 2021 result being 20% less than in 2020. Sponsorship support was down because many businesses had suffered badly during the lockdowns, boat participation in the regatta was down – in part due to a lack of dredging in the Swansea Channel and fund raising by the participating boat crews was also down. Nevertheless, considering the circumstances, the result was better than expected’.

As has now become the custom, The start if the regatta was preceded by a dazzling aerobatic display on the Toronto foreshore by local pilot extraordinaire – Paul Bennett of Paul Bennet Airshows.

The HCW raises money – primarily for, the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW and their Home Help Program – a program that supports recovering and terminal cancer patients who are unable to perform their domestic duties because of their condition. The regatta also raises money for Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue who provide on water support during the running of the regatta.

2021 was the 15th year of the HCW and to date, it has raised $470,000 in support of the charities. Mr Steiner went on to say, ‘The money raised so far gives us a clear target for 2022 of $500,000 and that would be an outstanding achievement for all the people that have supported this regatta in the past’ He went on to say ‘The regatta not only brings boats from local ports – Newcastle to Sydney, but as far away as Queensland and Victoria. It is the centrepiece of Lakefest – a celebration of aquatic and land-based activities on and around Lake Macquarie and a key activity that supports the local council’s objective of activating the Toronto Foreshore’.

Heaven Can Wait regatta cheque handover
Presentation of the cheques: (left to right), Tim Turner (Rotary), Gemma Pedri (Cancer Council), Greg Piper (Local State Member of Parliament and RMYC Patron), Shaun Lewicki (Instigator of the HCW Regatta), David Randall (GM Marmong Point Marina) and Mal Druce (Unit Commander Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue). Photo by Jason Gordon

The handover of cheques to the charities took place on Wednesday April 28th, at the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto. Royal Motor Yacht Club patron and State Government member for Lake Macquarie – Greg Piper, along with the regatta’s major sponsors – Marmong Point Marina and Rotary Sunrise Toronto, were on hand to help with the formalities.

Dates for the 2022 HCW – the 16th anniversary, are still being finalized but are expected to be in the early February time frame and will once again be a part of Lakefest.     

More information about HCW (results, photos, etc.) and Lakefest can be found at and

Main photo: Heaven Can Wait Regatta 2020. Photo by Greg Dickins