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World's 1st eClub (Jan 2002)
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Follow the Yellow Boat Road, a Unique Fundraiser

Rotarians circumnavigate Australia for the End Polio Now! campaign.

Tasmanian Wilderness Tourism entrepreneur Bob Pennicott has come up with a stunning approach to raise funds for Rotary's global End Polio Now! campaign. He is taking two yellow rigid inflatable dinghies, aptly named Polio 1 and Polio 2, on a 12,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of Australia. The Rotary logo is prominently emblazoned on both boats which fly the Rotary flag when in port. Bob has dubbed the innovative approach to fundraising "Follow the Yellow Boat Road." The expedition began on Sydney Harbour on May 31, but rough weather forced a return to Sydney and a two day delay.

Then-Governor of District 9830 Ted Richey was on board for the first leg to Newcastle. The boats reached Brisbane at the end of the fifth leg. By the start of July, the "Follow the Yellow Boat Road" team will have crossed the top of Australia and reached Broome. There are 77 sections on the trip, varying in length from 60 nautical miles to 420 nautical miles.

The "Follow the Yellow Boat Road" campaign is supported by a number of national sponsors. National Geographic has sponsored a Facebook page. Bob has put in a large sum of his own money. Qantas and Tourism Australia have jointly contributed $2.3 million. Telstra has provided satellite phones and data transmission facilities.

Administration costs are negligible, with 92 per cent of funds raised going to the End Polio Now! Campaign.

You can follow progress at

See accompanying video and spend a day aboard!

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