Entries now to open for Airlie Beach Race Week
THE Notice of Race is now out for the 25th anniversary of Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), from August 8-15.
The invited divisions for 2014 are IRC, PHS, Sports Boats, Cruising Spinnaker, Cruising Non-Spinnaker, OMR and Cruising Multihulls.
With well over 100 entries expected for the anniversary year, a number of the 2013 podium-placed boats have indicated their intention to return.
The 2013 IRC division champion, Howard Piggott’s Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud, has ABRW pencilled into a northern racing program.
“We are certainly hoping to be there if all our plans come together - it’s a marvellous event,” Piggott said.
IRC division bridesmaid, Mooloolaba Yacht Club’s Gary McCarthy and his team on the Beneteau 34.7, Brilliant Pearl, are also keen to come north. In the last two years McCarthy has finished in second and third on a count-back and he has his sights set on first place this year.
After dominating the Performance Division in last year’s regatta, a disappointed Philip Groves has advised he won’t have Huntress competing this year to defend his title due to an overseas business trip.
Local skipper Damian Suckling, whose crew on Another Fiasco finished second to Huntress last year, is pleased his rivals won’t be returning in 2014, but he knows that their absence doesn’t ensure he will have an easy ride to the podium.
“Our local competition, Reignition (Charles Wallis) will be there [and] we have a pretty good battle most years,” he said.
“There will [also] be a dark horse from down south. Until we see the entries we don’t know who it will be, but there is always a southern dark horse. We have a couple each year.”
Rounding off the early entry list will be fellow local Don Algie with Storm 2. Algie has competed in every ABRW since the regatta started and he has confirmed that he and his team of mates won’t be missing the 25th year.
Race week entries open on March 15 and can be completed online through the event website www.airlieraceweek.com.
The closing date for all entries is August 1.
RACE READY: Local sailors on Another Fiasco (pictured at last years' Airlie Beach Race Week) are looking forward to this year's 25th anniversary event. Photo by Shirley Wodson