Airlie Beach Race Week – Over 80 boat owners have already pledged their support for Airlie Beach Race Week, and with just over two weeks to go to Close of Entries, organisers for the event billed as the ‘Whitsundays Festival of Sailing’ are forecasting in excess of 100 boats.
Hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club, and to be held from 7-14 August, the 26th edition of Airlie Beach Race Week is just 23 days away, so preparations are in full swing to welcome the anticipated crowds of up to 1300 crew members and 3000 spectators.
Courses will be a combination of round the buoys racing on Pioneer Bay and passage races on the Bay and the Whitsunday Passages. Boats will be weaving around the many islands and taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, guaranteeing an impressive and colourful scene for spectators.
“I’m really looking forward to my first Airlie Beach Race Week,” said John Kint, a past commodore of Royal Geelong Yacht Club in Victoria.
On his decision to take part, Kint said: “Have you seen the temperature down south? I sailed north for other regattas last year, but missed Airlie Beach. We decided to sail the boat up earlier and take part. I’m already here – the weather has been beautiful.”
weeks to sail his Adams/Radford ‘Bundaberg’ to the Queensland venue. “It was absolutely good preparation for the racing ahead,” he commented.
“We’ve entered the Cruising division. It suits me and my boat, which is fitted with a furling asymmetrical. I see some very competitive names on the list and we plan the same – and to seeing more of that bright light in the sky,” Kint said.
Peter Boyd will travel even further, joining his South Australian friends Peter Hawker (Carbon Credit), and Gerald Valk (Crosshair) for the road trip to Queensland with his Grainger designed ‘Dux Nutts (slang for ‘The Best).
“It’s only 3,000 miles,” Boyd said laughing. We’re good mates and we enjoy it. I’ve been to Race Week a few times with my previous boat Gold Finger and I sailed on Carbon Credit a couple of years ago.”
Boyd says Grainger did an unbelievable job designing his 30 year-old boat. “It was revolutionary for its time – years ahead of its time – it’s still a rocket ship. It will be a very competitive fleet at Race Week this year, so we need to be quick.
“The multihulls are in two groups – the much larger ones like Renaissance (Mike Hodges) and smaller ones like mine. The conditions will decide which group comes out on top. Everyone is the main competition,” he stated.
“We love coming to Airlie Beach. It’s good to get away from the Adelaide weather to sail in a quality fleet with quality people. And the event is very well run. The PRO (Denis Thompson) is very good and the sailors appreciate that.”
by Di Pearson