Big names pre­pare for Air­lie show­down

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

SEV­ERAL fa­mous boats and equally fa­mous sailors with speed as their fo­cus are ready for a show­down at Air­lie Beach Race Week, to be held from Au­gust 10–17.

The Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club’s an­nual Air­lie Beach Race Week Fes­ti­val of Sail­ing has en­ticed the likes of An­drew York who is bring­ing his lat­est sleek one-de­sign keel boat from Syd­ney for the first time.

“Yorky,” an ac­com­plished yachts­man with Amer­ica’s Cups, off­shore and one-de­sign tri­umphs on his re­sume, is also dec­o­rated small boat sailor who comes to Air­lie Beach armed with four na­tional and two NSW keel boat ti­tles, won via his VX One, and more re­cently, with the slightly longer off­shoot he de­vel­oped, the REO 7.2.

In a nod to their speed, both boats carry the name Speed­wagon, the lat­est, REO Speed­wagon, is pro­vid­ing him with a real buzz.

“It’s ex­cep­tion­ally quick off the breeze, we’ve sailed it at over 20 knots count­less times,” Yorky said.

“My plans for the year in­clude tak­ing REO Speed­wagon to Air­lie Beach Race Week for the first time, where I’ll sail four up in the Sports Boat divi­sion.

“We’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing.”

The Syd­ney-sider is pin­ning all hopes on beat­ing de­fend­ing cham­pion Re­turned, the Leech 750 owned by Gra­ham Sher­ring, who re­mains in fine form.

The 2015 cham­pion and fel­low Queens­lan­ders, Gary Smith and John Rae with their Beth­waite 79er Vi­vace, are also ex­pected to be ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion.

Among a wide va­ri­ety of boats in the Per­for­mance Rac­ing divi­sion are two com­pletely dis­parate de­signs: Adrian Wal­ters’ two year old Rob Shaw 11 Me­tre, Lit­tle Nico and Colin and Denise Wil­son’s 15 year-old MKL49, Never a Dull Mo­ment.

Lit­tle Nico is en­vi­ably fast and is also mak­ing her Air­lie Beach de­but. Wal­ters has been test­ing the wa­ter with his car­bon fi­bre cant­ing keel har­bour rac­ing yacht lo­cally in Syd­ney since her launch.

In the same divi­sion is Never a Dull Mo­ment, the 49 footer that the hus­band and wife Wil­son team have en­joyed a long and dis­tin­guished ocean rac­ing ca­reer with. In re­cent times they have con­fined them­selves to lo­cal Syd­ney off­shore races.

“We love Air­lie Beach Race Week and can’t wait to com­pete again – we last raced there in 2014 and had a lot of fun; it’s al­ways fun,” Denise Wil­son said.

Hus­band Colin chipped in, “We’re al­ways made to feel wel­come and you can’t beat the weather – a nice es­cape from win­ter in Syd­ney.”

For en­try de­tails visit the ABRW web­site.


SAIL ON: Lo­cal yacht Con­dor will be com­pet­ing in the 2017 Air­lie Beach Race Week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.