Race Week founder is hon­oured at 25th event


TWENTY-FIVE years ago, Air­lie Beach Race Week was lit­tle more than a three-race se­ries run by the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club.

Cur­rent club com­modore Jim Hayes, who was also the com­modore back in 1989, was look­ing for some­one to spon­sor the se­ries and got chat­ting to Hogs Breath founder Don Al­gie, who was set­ting up a cafe in Air­lie Beach.

“Don had a great love of sail­ing and had been heav­ily in­volved in some ma­jor sail­ing events around the world,” Mr Hayes said.

“And it was be­cause of his vi­sion that Air­lie Beach Race Week be­gan.”

As a re­sult of these dis­cus­sions, Al­gie took on spon­sor­ship of the se­ries, which mor­phed from the Hogs Breath Cruis­ing Clas­sic into the Hogs Breath Race Week and now, quar­ter of a cen­tury later, into the 25th Vi­sion Sur­veys Air­lie Beach Race Week.

Al­gie, who has sailed in the event ev­ery year, is cur­rently com­pet­ing aboard his lux­ury yacht, Storm 2.

This year’s regatta is par­tic­u­larly poignant for both him and the boat, as he has sold the 20m fast-cruis­ing sloop to a New Zealand cou­ple and it will de­part Air­lie Beach two days af­ter the end of Race Week.

Storm 2 has been a stal­wart of the regatta for the past 10 years and a peren­nial Cruis­ing Divi­sion line hon­ours star.

At the 25th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions held on Mon­day night, Al­gie was pre­sented with a framed pho­to­graph of the yacht, com­plete with com­ments from his long-term sup­port­ers and crew.

Af­ter ac­cept­ing his gift, la­belled ‘Ob­nox­ious in vic­tory, surly in de­feat’, Al­gie spoke of his hopes for the regatta’s next 25 years. “Just keep it up,” he said. “I think ev­ery­body likes it – they love the cour­ses here and I just want peo­ple to keep en­joy­ing it.”

OB­NOX­IOUS IN VIC­TORY, SURLY IN DE­FEAT: The Storm 2 crew con­sist­ing of Paul O'Rourke, Bob Al­gie, Ross McMullen, Leonie and Gra­ham Matthews, Bruce Gosper, Peter Scays­brook, Rick Molle­son, Brad Acaster, Mai and Don Al­gie, Glen Oren­shaw, Kerri Tan­ner, Ce­leste Oren­shaw, Don­nie Al­gie, Kieran Smith and Marse and Peter Tay­lor, with Don Al­gies spe­cially pre­sented pho­to­graph, mark­ing his last regatta aboard and cel­e­brat­ing his found­ing of Race Week 25 years ago. Photo by An­drew Pat­tin­son / Vampp Pho­tog­ra­phy

IN AC­TION: Storm 2, Shirley Wod­son

pic­tured dur­ing her last Air­lie Beach Race Week. Photo by

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