10 May 2023

Early birthday present for thrilled Weipa family

| Matt Nicholls
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The Hamill family – Chris, Lani, Lachie and Miley – in their new boat on Sunday night.

CHRIS Hamill admitted his heart rate was slowly gathering pace as each contestant was “eliminated” from the major prize draw at the Weipa Fishing Classic.

Twenty-eight people had their number called and gathered on the stage on Sunday night and one by one they walked away with prizes.

By the time it got down to the last three, Chris knew he had won a new boat.

But which one?

“I actually own a little tinny which is pretty much the same as what the second prize was,” he said on Monday, still in a bit of shock after walking away with the $60,000 major prize.

“I wasn’t sure how to react but one of the highlights was sharing (the experience) with the kids.”

Chris and his wife Lani made the move from Noosa to Weipa last year when she took a teaching position at Western Cape College. Chris also works at the school in an administration role.

He plans on keeping the boat.

“I feel like a true Weipa local now that I have a big boat,” he said with a smile.

“It’s going to be a great birthday present.”

Daughter Miley turns 5 this Sunday, while son Lachie will be 8 just two days later.

Incredibly, Lani will celebrate her 40th birthday a further two days after Lachie.

“The timing is great,” said Chris, who attended his first Weipa Fishing Classic last year and said he purchased just one keyring for the major draw.

“One last year and one this year.”

There was nothing wrong with the consolation prizes, though.

With support from major sponsor Cav’s Marine and Outdoor, there were boats for both the runner-up and third place.

Callum Mayor was the second last man standing, while Leeandra Wone was third.

Britney Moss claimed the heli-fishing trip, while the diamond for fifth place went to Evan Sellick.

Weipa Fishing Classic president Aaron Schleich praised his hard-working committee and the Weipa community for making it another great event.

“I’m not surprised because Weipa always supports the events but it was another terrific turnout and went really well,” he said on Sunday night.

The pressure on the committee to put on the June event after two years of short turnarounds must be acknowledged, he said.

“It’s hard enough when you have a full 12 months, so when you only have nine it puts a lot of strain on the volunteer base,” Mr Schleich said.

“I encourage locals to consider putting their hand up to stand on the committee for next year and give it a go because it’s a rewarding experience.”

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