SAILING: Nationals flag start of season

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FIFTH OUTING: All models built by Northshore Yachts are eligible for the championships at Toronto.

ROYAL Motor Yacht Club Toronto is the venue tomorrow for the start of the fifth Australian Championships for Northshore yachts.

The event will feature spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions, and one-design starts in classes that attract entries of five or more.

“This year, the regatta coincides with the RMYC Toronto Open Day for the start of the sailing season, so it will be a festive atmosphere on the shores of Lake Macquarie for the event,” RMYC Toronto spokesman Rod Mackay said.

“Eligible yachts include all Northshore models; Cole 19, 23 and Santanas built by Northshore Yachts in NSW.”

The regatta will continue over the weekend, giving visiting yachts time to get their boats home for the start of their spring season.

“Major sponsors Club Marine and RMYC Toronto will be on board again this year providing some great prizes,” Mr Mackay said.

There will be a dinner for crews and guests on Saturday night, and a prize presentation on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Mackay said the club was hopeful that the championships would grow to a four-day competition.

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Free test offer for hearing

FREE CHECK: Australian Hearing is a leader in the field. Picture: Simon BennettNEXT week is National Hearing Week, and locals are urged to phone and book a free hearing test at Toronto, Morisset, or Lake Haven.
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“For those who are yet to take charge of their hearing loss, they are invited to have a chat with Australian Hearing experts about options available, while having a free hearing check,” Australian Hearing’s Emily Tutt said.

Australian Hearing is a leading hearing specialist, researcher and the largest provider of government-funded hearing services.

It provides subsidised hearing care for eligible people.

Locals can phone 131 797 and book a free hearing check with Australian Hearing at Toronto, Morisset or Lake Haven.

The Toronto site is at shop 2A/65 The Boulevarde.

The Morisset site is at Morisset Multi-Purpose Centre, 143 Dora Street.

The Lake Haven site is shop 124 at Lake Haven Shopping Centre.

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Epic ride to raise funds for children

GOOD CAUSE: Morisset McDonald’s crew members Jacqui Conway, Renae Burton and Lachlan Chappell with Adam Sherman on Tuesday. Picture: Jamieson Murphy
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OWNER of Toronto and Morisset McDonald’s Adam Sherman is gearing up for his tenth Ride for Sick Kids next week.

Mr Sherman and a group of dedicated riders will cover almost 800 kilometres in an epic six-day ride to raise money for Ronald McDonald Houses.

The causes is a personal one for Mr Sherman, who lost his mother to cancer when he was a teenager.

“Also, I’m a dad so [the children at the Ronald McDonald Houses] get to you straightaway,” Mr Sherman said.

The father-of-three has been riding for the cause for the past nine years, having fallen in love with the sport since the Ride for Sick Kids event in 2005.

He is currently cycling 250 to 300 kilometres a week to build up his endurance, but still expects the long ride to challenge him.

“I’m excited to be part of the ride again – I know it will be challenging, riding for six days straight, but it is such a great cause and I want to give back to my community,” he said.

“I am passionate about supporting charities which significantly help seriously ill children and their families.”

This year’s ride will start in Inverell, travelling through Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Forster and finishing in Newcastle.

The riders will stop at schools along the way to help raise awareness about their cause.

“The ride touches a lot more people than you think,” Mr Sherman said.

“At every school we go to, we ask the kids if anyone has been to a Ronald McDonald House, and there is always a few kids putting their hand up, saying they went there with their sick brother or sister.”

Though many people would be happy with 10 consecutive years of participating in the event, Mr Sherman is determined to keep pushing himself.

“I will continue to participate in the Ride for Sick Kids event for as long as I possibly can,” he said.

■ The Ride for Sick Kids runs from Sunday, August 24, to Friday, August 29. To follow Adam’s progress and to make a donation to Ronald McDonald House, visit rideforsickids.org

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LETTERS: Some enforcement long overdue

SLOW DOWN: The writer believes police will soon start targeting speeders on the Morisset Peninsula. Picture: Ryan OslandI SUSPECT there will soon be some people who will find out just how good the bus service is on the Morisset Peninsula.
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These are the many motorists who rocket through the 50km/h speed limited zone at Mirrabooka at licence-loss speeds.

Police will soon discover there is a major problem here.

Oh, and don’t start me on the unregistered, noisy trail bikes ridden on the roads at breakneck speeds, on one wheel, often after dark and without lights, and sometimes losing control and crashing (where are the parents?).

Or the imbecilic drivers doing major burnouts near the fire station.

Yes, one day the penny will drop and there’ll be a major traffic enforcement out here.

I can hear the whinges already, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

– Bob Macfarlane, Mirrabooka

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Campers keep the peace

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FRIENDSHIP: The international visitors were treated to tours of Lake Macquarie, the Central Coast, and Sydney.

THEY say one should never discuss politics or religion at a dinner party: it seems the same rule works well at international youth camps.

Local Lions clubs recently hosted Camp Kookaburra for 34 young people visiting from 18 countries.

Among the nations represented by the 17- to 21-year-olds was China, India, Russia, Ukraine and Palestine.

“With such a potentially volatile mix of nations and religions it could have all ended in tears,” Keith Stewart, of Wangi Lions Club, said.

“However, all campers and Lions staff agreed not to discuss politics and religion for the duration.

“It was a wonderful week, filled with discovery, joy, laughter and friendship.”

During the weeklong camp, Lions staff accompanied the young visitors around Lake Macquarie, the Central Coast and Newcastle.

“They did the usual tourist things like sailing on the lake, courtesy of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto, taking the Stockton ferry, visiting Nobbys Beach and the Obelisk,” Mr Stewart said.

A visit to the Sydney CBD and The Rocks was followed by lunch at Bondi Beach.

“The highlight however was a cruise from McMahons Point up the harbour to Watsons Bay on a RAN dive launch.”

Most nights, the campers would deliver a presentation featuring their country and its culture.

Preparations are under way for next year’s camp.

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