SAILING REGATTA SETS NEW RECORD
25th anniversary of Airlie Beach Race Week ready to start
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.