SAIL­ING REGATTA SETS NEW RECORD

25th an­niver­sary of Air­lie Beach Race Week ready to start

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood

A RECORD num­ber of boats and their crews will hit the Whit­sun­day wa­ters on Satur­day for the first day of rac­ing in this year’s 25th an­niver­sary of the Air­lie Beach Race Week.

The mile­stone event, spon­sored by Vi­sion Sur­veys, has re­ceived 135 en­tries, beat­ing the orig­i­nal record of 123 yachts in 2011.

“And we didn’t just beat the record – we smashed it,” Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club com­modore and Air­lie Race Week chair­man Jim Hayes proudly an­nounced.

The regatta’s sil­ver ju­bilee was of­fi­cially launched at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club last Fri­day with spon­sors, me­dia, club mem­bers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all tiers of govern­ment at­tend­ing the event. Mr Hayes said the regatta was still be­ing run on the ba­sic prin­ci­ples by which it was founded a quar­ter of a cen­tury ago and the vi­sion of its orig­i­nal spon­sor Don Al­gie, for­merly of Hogs Breath.

“His vi­sion was that we would have world-class rac­ing, with a world-class or­gan­i­sa­tion... in a fan­tas­tic and unique venue, with a friendly and laid back at­mos­phere on shore,” he said.

Mr Hayes said he was also proud to have a lo­cal spon­sor on board for the 25th an­niver­sary event, pay­ing homage to Vi­sion Sur­veys direc­tor Brian For­rester who is co­in­ci­den­tally also cel­e­brat­ing his 25th year of liv­ing in the Whit­sun­days.

Mr For­rester, who will be com­pet­ing in the regatta on his 60ft cata­ma­ran Drum­beat, said he was re­ally proud to be a part of the event and “to put back into this com­mu­nity”.

Race Week runs from Au­gust 8-15.

All so­cial events will take place at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club and are free of charge and open to the com­mu­nity to at­tend. For more in­for­ma­tion see this week’s

LO­CAL res­i­dents are in­vited to cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of Air­lie Beach Race Week (ABRW) at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club on Mon­day night.

From 6pm on­wards, the club will be throw­ing open its doors to Race Week par­tic­i­pants, lo­cals, vis­i­tors, and the sail­ing and non-sail­ing com­mu­nity alike, as a cel­e­bra­tion of an event that has brought the town of Air­lie Beach alive each year for a quar­ter of a cen­tury.

The night will in­clude seafood meals and wood-fired pizza, com­plete with live mu­sic by Lance Friend and the Murky River Boys.

Di­rect from their highly suc­cess­ful Red Dirt Tour of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, Lance and his band are set to de­liver an en­er­getic show­case of both self-re­leased hit songs and pop­u­lar cov­ers, in the style of their newly dis­cov­ered coun­try rock­grass sound.

For those who want to party on, Air­lie’s Mama Africa night­club will be host­ing the of­fi­cial Race Week af­ter party from 10pm. The Mount Gay Pi­rate Party will fea­ture mu­sic by Air­lie’s num­ber one RnB DJ Dig­i­tal Bel­liger­ence. Pi­rate dress is en­cour­aged, with Mount Gay pro­mo­tional give­aways for all who come in theme.

The 25th an­niver­sary party is just one event on a week-long pro­gram of on­shore entertainment to co­in­cide with this year’s 25th regatta, spon­sored by Vi­sion Sur­veys.

Fes­tiv­i­ties of­fi­cially start to­mor­row (Fri­day, Au­gust 8) with a trop­i­cal wel­come party at the Sail­ing Club, start­ing from 6pm. Dress code is ‘trop­i­cal’ to re­flect the over­ar­ch­ing theme of what has tra­di­tion­ally been known as “the trop­i­cal shirt regatta”.

From Satur­day, Au­gust 9, through to Fri­day, Au­gust 15, Air­lie Point at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club will be set up with Mount Gay Rum and XXXX Gold pop-up tents. Ta­bles, chairs and um­brel­las on the lawn, will also en­sure it’s the per­fect lo­ca­tion to en­joy the views, entertainment and at­mos­phere of this year’s spe­cial event.

Guests at the club can en­joy clubpriced bar snacks and drinks daily from 4pm. Ra­dio per­son­al­ity Mee- cham Philpott will be the MC and there will be mu­sic by DJ’s.

The regatta lay day is on Tues­day, Au­gust 12, when the sailors have a day off rac­ing, and the sail­ing club will hold a Corona and Mo­hito party from 11am. The Race Week finale is on Fri­day, Au­gust 15, where pre­sen­ta­tions will also be held.

ABRW spon­sor­ship and mar­ket­ing man­ager Cor­rie Gard­ner said this year, the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club was invit­ing the en­tire com­mu­nity to come along to the club and help cel­e­brate “all that is great about the Whit­sun­days”.

En­try to all events is free.

READY TO RACE: WSC com­modore and Race Week chair­man Jim Hayes, Vi­sion Sur­veys di­rec­tors and event spon­sors David Wil­son and Brian For­rester, Race Week op­er­a­tions man­ager An­gela Rae, me­dia co-or­di­na­tor Heidi Wal­ton and spon­sor­ship and mar­ket­ing man­ager Cor­rie Gard­ner, aboard Drum­beat, Mr For­rester's boat, which will be com­pet­ing in the 25th an­nual Air­lie Beach Race Week, start­ing to­mor­row.

CEL­E­BRAT­ING: Or­gan­is­ers, sup­port­ers and spon­sors of the 25th an­niver­sary Vi­sion Sur­veys Air­lie Beach Race Week are look­ing for­ward to the mo­men­tous event, which of­fi­cially kicks off to­mor­row (Au­gust 8). Pic­tured are: Jim Hayes, Dave West­man, Leanne Aber­nethy, Greg Ham­mon, Racheal Kl­itscher, Jennifer Copsey, Da­nial Rochford, An­drew Will­cox, Tolita Dukes, Ja­son Costi­gan, Cor­rie Gard­ner, David Dias, Tracy Evans, Louise Ma­honey, Ge­orge Chris­tensen, Heidi Wal­ton, Kevin Fog­a­rty and Linda and Brian For­rester.

PARTY TIME: A huge party to cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of Air­lie Beach Race Week will be held at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club on Mon­day, Au­gust 11. Photo by An­drew Pat­tin­son / Vampp Pho­tog­ra­phy

NEW SOUND: Lance Friend and the Murky River Boys are bring­ing their new coun­try rock­grass sound to the Air­lie Beach Race Week 25th an­niver­sary party on Mon­day night. Photo courtesy El­iz­a­beth An­drews.

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