MAY the weather be good, seas calm and no mishaps - this was the wish for HookUp from a soldier 11422 kilometres away.

This year will mark the first and only time Colin Bowen hasn't entered The Observer Boyne Tannum HookUp since moving to Boyne Island in 2005.

Currently on deployment as a nurse at Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan, Mr Bowen emailed the HookUp team, expressing his disappointment at missing the popular fishing event.

"I know I am going to miss the action and fun of this year's event, but congratulate you on the continued success of our crowning and most popular family event. I look forward to seeing all the details and photos on your website," he wrote.

Last year's HookUp stickers that Mr Bowen took with him stand as a symbol on some of the Flight Line Response Crew vehicles.

Back home in Gladstone, his wife Lynette and daughters Morgan, 9, and Abby, 7, are keeping the family tradition alive and entering in his honour.

"We wish he was here," said Lynette.She said that in past years, 'HookUp fever' in their family would start a week before.

"You can't even talk to him in HookUp mode," she joked.

"He is really passionate about HookUp; he thinks it's an awesome event for the community."

A letter from dad

Dear Hook-Up Team,

My name is Colin Bowen, I am a Nurse currently on Deployment at Kandahar Air-Base in Afghanistan.

I have been in the Hook-Up for the last 6 years since moving to Boyne Island in 2005. My wife Lynette Bowen and Daughters Morgan 9 and Abby 7 are our only family entrants this year.

I know I am going to miss the action and fun of this years event, but congratulate you on the continued success of our Crowning and most popular family event. I look forward to seeing all the details and photos on your website.

I brought a couple of 2011 stickers over with me and have them on our vehicles for the Flightline Response Crew, I have also taken a couple of photos of these stickers that you may use as you would like. I will send these on a seperate email.

- Colin Bowen

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