Airlie Beach Race Week makes its pitch for Etchells class sail
AS ONE of the Etchells class major regattas in Australia, the Etchells Australasian Championship attracts some of the country’s best sailors.
This year a crew from Whitsunday Sailing Club joined the competition, in an effort to attract the class and the top sailors to compete in Airlie Beach Race Week in August.
Robert Holm, who owns the boat Good Vibes, teamed up with Ross Chisholm (foredeck) and Adrian Bram (mainsheet) to compete together in the event.
This crew had never sailed together until the first race.
Sailing in such an experienced fleet, and with 40 boats on the starting line, the learning curve was huge, but the crew faced the challenge with results of 33, 33 and 34 on the first day setting the scene.
On Saturday, the wind was even stronger.
While Good Vibes felt they sailed well, obviously so did the opposition, resulting in similar results on day two.
With only one race remaining on Sunday, the crews woke to a light, five-knot breeze and large swell.
The fleet split after the start.
Those who went out to sea benefited.
Picking up on this, Good Vibes favoured the seaward side of the course and clawed back from a slow start to finish a credible 20th in the last race.
Its results may not have been at the top of the score sheet, but the opportunity to meet some of the country’s top sailors, and invite them to Airlie Beach Race Week was a chance not to be missed.
Whitsunday Sailing Club is hoping to attract at least 10 of these racing boats to Race Week on August 10.
LARGE SWELL: Some close Etchells racing at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.