Boyne Smelter Limited apprentices Ben Guymer, Montana Vincent and general manager Joe Rea (back) Daniel Batkines, Trey Dummett and Nick Bailey reveal their raft.
Boyne Smelter Limited apprentices Ben Guymer, Montana Vincent and general manager Joe Rea (back) Daniel Batkines, Trey Dummett and Nick Bailey reveal their raft. Liana Walker

REVEALED: Raft Regatta winners show off this year's boat

REIGNING raft champion Boyne Smelters Limited has revealed the raft it will use to defend its title at next Friday's regatta.

The vessel, built by first-year apprentices, is constructed in the shape of a semitrailer truck used to transport aluminium.

BSL apprentice co-ordinator Trevor Loughran said raft building was an important experience for the first years.

"We see this as a bit of a challenge for them to get together, work as a team and put something together that they designed,” Mr Loughran said.

"It's come out pretty good.

"We give them a base platform and say it's your design, make it your own, and it's all made up with waste material.”

Four words written on the side of the raft - ability, opportunity, application and reputation - represented what BSL expects of its apprentices.

"They're real driving points for these guys and it's something they need to work on right through their apprenticeship,” Mr Loughran said.

"It's almost the first job for these guys to start the year.

"We put them through a whole lot of training but this here... it's a bit of a fun exercise.”

Mr Loughran remained tight-lipped on winning secrets and insisted having fun was key.

"Play hard and enjoy because that's what these guys will be doing,” he said.

Don't miss tomorrow's edition for our 40-page Gladstone Harbour Festival Guide and a whole page of discount ride coupons.



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