CLIPPER YACHTS ARE EN ROUTE
Airlie to turn into Clipper race hub
THE Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will be given the royal treatment when the fleet arrives in Airlie Beach next week, as Abell Point Marina prepares the entertainment for the crews and curious visitors.
Abell Point Marina manager, Luke McCaul said the Clipper yachts would be arriving in Airlie Beach over January 13 and 14 as they raced from Hobart to the Whitsundays.
“It’s about a 10-day race from Hobart to the Whitsundays – they left on the 3rd and we’re expecting them to arrive next week on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.
Mr McCaul said everyone was welcome to come down to the marina and watch the first boats arrive.
“You can follow their journey on the radio and the Whit
sunday Times Facebook page,” he said. “The best view will be along the Bicentennial walkway.”
The party starts with a bang on Friday, with a fireworks display scheduled for 9pm to welcome the fleet. Beforehand, there will be musical entertainment at the South Marina and salsa dancing at Barcelona.
“It’ll be a great opportunity to sit at a bar and soak up all the action, and maybe even mingle with some of the crews and skippers,” Mr McCaul said.
Saturday starts bright and early with parkrun at 7am, leaving from the South Marina and giving a great opportunity to start the day fresh and catch a glimpse of the yachts as you run past.
During the day there will be a mini festival, including market stalls, food stalls and live music all day until 9pm. There will also be an open day on Saturday, where ordinary folk can climb on board the Clipper yachts and have a look inside.
“At 4pm on Saturday in the courtyard near Barcelona, we’ll have a few of the skippers give a bit of a presenta- tion on what it’s like to sail in the Clipper Round the World Race, and a question and answer session as well,” Mr McCaul said.
On Sunday, competition heats up as the Whitsunday Outrigger Club host a paddle challenge, going head to head against some of the crews from the Clipper race. The Ro- tary Club of Airlie Beach will also be hosting a cooked breakfast with fresh coffee for those wishing to spectate.
Monday is departure day for the fleet, and will begin with a community breakfast sponsored by Bendigo Bank from 7-10am. Following breakfast the Clipper fleet will begin to make its way out to the start line for their next race to DaNang, Vietnam.
“Everyone is encouraged to get on the water and farewell the fleet as they start their next race,” Mr McCaul said. “If you’ve got a boat or can jump aboard one, we’d love to see the community rally behind them and give them our best Whitsunday wishes.”
WELCOME CLIPPER: Abell Point Marina manager Luke McCaul with Clipper Communications director Jonathan Levy, Race Director Justin Taylor and Marina owner Paul Darrouzet.