At the 2008 Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week, southern sailor Michelle Petrie has been helming in her first regatta aboard her dark blue hulled Beneteau 57 Ngak Ngak.

Ngak Ngak have finished second overall in the Cruising Non-Spinnaker division, a great first up effort for Michelle.

Artist Ginger Reilly Munduwalawala painted the distinctive logo which has been emblazoned her side. The yacht’s name Ngak Ngak comes from the sound of the white-breasted sea eagle and is an indigenous name for that bird.

Michelle and her husband Hamish Petrie first came across Ginger’s work in a retrospective exhibition in the Victoria Gallery in Melbourne in 1977 and bought one of his pieces, which is hung on the boat.

The artist, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala* came from the coastal saltwater country of the Mara people. Born around 1937 at Ngukurr in the Northern Territory, Riley received his bush education and ritual instruction from his senior Mara relatives after his father died when he was just a child. He was very much a traditional man and believed his presence was confirmed by his ancestral myths and legends.

Ngak Ngak or the white breasted sea eagle appears regularly in Ginger’s work “ either as a single or repeated image. Ginger believed the Ngak Ngak acted as a lookout watching over his mother country.

Michelle Petrie commented, ˜Sea Eagles are our favourite bird, we often see and hear them in the Whitsundays and right down as far as Pittwater, their call is a croaky Ngak Ngak.

‘After the Magnetic Island series we are heading north to the Palm Island group, we’ve been told they are amongst the most picturesque in Australia, and we are hoping to see more Ngak Ngaks there.’