Racing will start from 9.30am at Airlie Beach Race Week today, and with southerly winds of 20-25 knots already pervading the Whitsundays, competitors will have to be on the ball.
Race Director Denis Thompson said while officials will aim to put four windward/leeward races to bed on the Sports Boats course, the remaining classes from the 108 competing boats will contest an arduous race in south-easterly winds of up to 25 knots, in sharp contrast with preceding days, and a welcome relief for many.
The fleet will race from Pioneer Bay to the Dent Passage with IRC Racing one, IRC Passage and Cruising Division one yachts then going outside the Molles and then to the Whitsunday Passage and finish.
Remaining classes will also go outside of the Molles, then to White Rock and to the finish line in Pioneer Bay.
“Perfect conditions,” Denis Thompson said. “But it will be a long beat from North Molles to the south end of Dent – a 15 nautical mile beat with the tide against them – it will test their mettle.”
On the flip side, once they turn the corner at Dent, the fleet will have a fast ride home in a big breeze and the tide with them.
Hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club, racing in the ‘Tropical Festival of Sailing’ continues from 9.30am with the various classes starting at five minute intervals.
by Di Pearson