EYES ON THE PRIZE

Lo­cals tune up for Air­lie Beach Race Week

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DALE and Paul Mitchell are two broth­ers with more than a lit­tle pas­sion for sail­ing.

On Sun­day, the pro­fes­sional sail mak­ers took the im­pres­sive black rac­ing tri­maran Mor­ti­cia out on Pi­o­neer Bay to trial new sails they had made them­selves, right here in Air­lie Beach.

But this wasn’t just a sail-tweak­ing run – it was a full-scale tune up for the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club Air­lie Beach Race Week.

The broth­ers are pre­par­ing to join a fleet of more than 100 yachts en­tered into this year’s Trop­i­cal Fes­ti­val of Sail­ing, start­ing to­mor­row and run­ning to Fri­day, Au­gust 14.

Mor­ti­cia, skip­pered by Chris Wil­liams, was the win­ner of Air­lie Beach Race Week in 2013, is a twice na­tional mul­ti­hull cham­pion and won the Bris­bane to Gladstone Race this year.

The ves­sel is based in Syd­ney and is here in the Whit­sun­days chas­ing glory in the 26th an­nual event.

Join­ing the crew for Sun­day’s trial was Gavin “Butto” But­lin, the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club’s events man­ager and founder of the Air­lie Beach Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic.

In an ef­fort to fur­ther mo­ti­vate the boys, Mr But­lin took the cov­eted Boss Hog Tro­phy along for the ride.

The Boss Hog Tro­phy em­bod­ies the spirit of Air­lie Beach Race Week as en­vi­sioned by the event’s founder, Don Al­gie.

It’s about great sail­ing and the ul­ti­mate ca­ma­raderie in one of the best sail­ing des­ti­na­tions in the world.

For the full story on Air­lie Beach Race Week see the eight-page liftout in­side to­day.

Photo: Matthew New­ton

OFF AND RAC­ING: Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club events man­ager Gavin But­lin holds aloft the cov­eted Air­lie Beach Race Week Boss Hog Tro­phy while Dan Townsend, Paul, Lisa and Dale Mitchell look on, aboard Mor­ti­cia.

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