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Mooloolaba Etchells partner with new venue owner for 20th anniversary regatta

26 April 2016 Tracey Johnstone

Mooloolaba Etchells

"Mooloolaba Etchells"

New owners of The Wharf Mooloolaba precinct, Evans Long, have reinforced their support of tenant Mooloolaba Yacht Club and its largest annual event.

Director Dirk Long announced this week that Evans Long has taken up lead sponsorship of the MYC’s Mooloolaba Wharf-based Etchells Australasian Championship, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in June.

The regatta has been conducted consecutively for the last 20 years and regularly attracts entries from around Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The fleet numbers often exceed the mid-40s.

This year’s event, being held from June 9 to 12, will be no exception when it comes to the size and quality of the fleet for the four-day event.

“The Etchells program is good for the Coast, not only as an event, but also because it bolsters the club and all its members, and it brings the wider sailing community to Mooloolaba which has waned over the years since Mooloolaba Yacht Club moved from up the spit.

“We also love to see any event we can get on the Coast instead of anywhere else. As a business we are 100 per cent supportive of that,” Long says.

Long has a distant connection with sailing through his early years sailing Sabots on Sydney Harbour and from owning a 45-foot Norman Wright timber motor boat, called Nimbus. His father grew up on Sydney Harbour and Long admits he is a big sailing fanatic.

The decision however to support this regatta is focused on driving more visitors and locals to enjoy The Wharf.

“Events for this precinct are vitally important; anything that brings foot traffic to The Wharf area which has started with the Sunreef redevelopment, and the MYC is part of that, we have got to keep encouraging.

“We are attracting other tenants with which we are in various stages of negotiation.

“Visitors boost retail, and that’s what we all want. Events are therefore paramount and something everyone from across the Coast can enjoy," Long adds.

Evans Long recently settled on the purchase of the lease-hold on The Wharf Mooloolaba from Merlin Entertainments.

The private company is well known for its large project work for commercial, medical and multi-residential facilities throughout Queensland and the two families behind it have lived for decades at the Coast.

The purchase of The Wharf Mooloolaba is a strategic decision by the company to renew it as a prime tourist destination.

The company comes to the project with the experience to handle the redevelopment of the site back into a family-friendly precinct. Long’s background from his family’s involvement in boating will be important to managing the marine area of the complex.

“I have travelled up and down the east coast many times and stayed in marinas. You tell me another marina where you can step off the boat and walk 100 metres to a surf beach or any sort of restaurant; it’s unheard of, except for here.

“We are pretty passionate about revamping the marina back to what it should be,” Longs says.

“Tourism in Mooloolaba is heavily based on families. All the activities that happen down at the marine precinct are family orientated. We have the hire business, whale watching and cruises, scuba diving and the sailing club.

“We are strongly committed to the tourism focus at The Wharf and to freshly reconnecting it the Esplanade and the whole Mooloolaba area for the Coast’s long term benefit,” he adds.

On the matter of converting Long from power boats back to sailing boats, he says he is open to temptation. Perhaps not an Etchells, but something that he, his young family and his dad can enjoy together on the bay off Mooloolaba could be the winner.

Coast business Evans Long steps up to sponsor 20th anniversary Etchells Australasian Championships

"Coast business Evans Long steps up to sponsor 20th anniversary Etchells Australasian Championships"

Photo by:
Teri Dodds


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