Champagne sailing at halfway mark
BY DAY three of this year’s Airlie Beach Race Week, winds had eased from the previous two days of 25-plus knots, to a comfortable 14-18 knots from the southeast.
The sea was smoother and the sunshine turned the water into a perfect aqua, providing the right combination of factors to create a few upsets in the leaderboards as the heavy weather winners were shown up by some of the lighter wind specialists.
While the remainder of the record fleet headed off on a picturesque passage race north to Gumbrell Island, the IRC fleet had two windward/ leeward races on the bay.
By the end of the race, Cruising Division 1 saw Rob Marshall’s Femme Fatale move up into first place.
Cruising Division 2 was won by Alan Sneddon’s Pacific Phoenix, but remaining in first place overall was Nic Cox and Col Thomas’s Adams 10, Ella.
Cruising Spinnaker Division 3, which was subject to protest, was won by Ben Meakin’s Peggy, but it was Bob Beale’s Kameruka that retained the overall lead ahead of John Fowell’s Ells Bells.
In Cruising Non Spinnaker, Peter Dee’s Rampallion was another to lap up the softer conditions, taking out first place and moving into first overall.
With Tuesday a designated lay day and the regatta officially at the halfway mark, Whitsunday Sailing Club commodore and Airlie Race Week event chairman Jim Hayes, said he was pleased with how the week was progressing.
We’re just hoping for nice breezes and good sailing for everyone going forward,” he said.
To follow the regatta and see the full results, visit www.abrw.com.au.
SPONSOR'S LUCK: Race Week naming rights sponsor Brian Forrester, aboard his 60ft catamaran Drumbeat, could be set to win the Multihull Cruising Division of the event. Photo by Andrew Pattinson / Vampp
AFTER RACING: All the on-shore entertainment at this year's Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week has been held at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Photo by Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photography