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Amidst howling winds and driving rain, 110 salty souls took over a pirate ship on Sydney Harbour to party with purpose. The occasion? The first weekend of Beard Season – previously known as winter – superbly stewarded by Hamish Blake who flew up from Melbourne especially.

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The event raised funds and awareness in the fight against melanoma – Australia’s ‘national cancer’. Something Hamish had a brush with last year after finding a suss looking spot on his nose. Since then Hamish has been in touch with Beard Season founder Jimmy Niggles Esq. who invited Hamish to become a #BeardSeasonAmbassador – using his beard as a ‘life saving conversation starter, encouraging people to visit their GP or dermatologist for a #BeardSeasonSkinCheck.

Eager to champion the cause, Hamish wore a white naval admiral suit with captains hat and medals. One of which he said could be used as currency anywhere in the world in case of emergency. He also brought some very high profile friends to celebrate the – radio host Michael “Wippa” Wipfli and Victoria Cross winner Corporal Mark Donaldson – who wore a full camouflaged diving suit with flippers and goggles.

Sponsored by Sailor Jerry and Fils De Pomme French Cider, the crew had a wild time on the 1800’s wooden tall ship. Taking in the sights of VIVID Festival while enjoying the superb sounds of DJ Danny Clayton – another superb supporter of this Sydney Based charity. Each winter the charity invites gentlemen to grow their beards and use them to challenge as many people as possible to get a skincheck. An awareness initiative which now saves an average of a life a week. Events like this bring the core ambassadors together to help spread the word over the winter months. This one holds extra significance given the ambitious goal of raising a million dollars by the end of winter, shaving Jimmy Niggles’ beard off and using the funds to start a free national skincheck program, targeted to places where it’s needed most. After such a successful night – followed up with a huge performance at the Harbour View Hotel The Rocks by a seven piece south coast band The Swaggers,

Beard Season is well on its way to a very powerful winter. For media enquiries or further details please get in touch. Photos generously captured by VIX PIX PHOTOGRAPHY.

Read the Daily Mail story here.