Navy promotes International Fleet Review through V8 connection

Published on LCDR Don Hogarth (author), Sarah Keayes (photographer)

Location(s): Surfers Paradise, Qld

Topic(s): 723 Squadron, V8 Supercars, International Fleet Review

Dick Johnson Racing Team with 723 Squadron's Squirrel Helicopter at Surfers Paradise. (photo: Sarah Keayes)
Dick Johnson Racing Team with 723 Squadron's Squirrel Helicopter at Surfers Paradise.

A Squirrel helicopter from 723 SQN in its new IFR livery has helped promote the upcoming International Fleet Review through Navy's alliance with V8 Supercars.

As part of the build-up for the V8 Supercars Armor All Gold Coast 600, two Dick Johnson Racing Falcons were unloaded from the DJR race transporter in Pit Lane on McIntosh Island and driven through the streets of Surfers Paradise by Chaz Mostert and Tim Blanchard. The culmination saw both cars on the Esplanade footpath for a rare photo opportunity with Navy’s 723 SQN Squirrel flown by LEUT Dave Barlow and LEUT Adrian Wedd with Aircrewman Leading Seaman Anthony Da Silva. The helicopter in International Fleet Review livery is one of four Squirrels from 723 SQN which will carry the IFR branding leading up to the event in early October this year.

Surfers Paradise Alliance Chief Executive Officer Mike Winlaw said the spectacle on the Surfers Paradise beach was to excite locals and visitors ahead of what will be a jam packed major entertainment and spectator events calendar over the coming months.

“It’s a win-win for the community and Surfers Paradise businesses with more than 100,000 additional visitors coming into the precinct as a consequence of our strategic partnerships,” Mr Winlaw said.

“Our focus is to create the wow factor for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who frequent our golden shores and also offer a drawcard for those who may not have been here for a while to come back and enjoy what’s on offer.”

“Surfers Paradise Alliance would like to thank the Royal Australian Navy and Dick Johnson Racing for their outstanding support to this exciting event,” Mr Winlow said.