Message from regional mayor
Sailors welcomed to town one and all
IT IS with great pleasure that I welcome the many competitors and their families, visitors and locals who are part of this year’s Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing; one of the most anticipated sporting events on the annual calendar.
Airlie Beach Race Week was first held 28 years ago and last year it reached a record 131 entries.
It’s not surprising, with the warm winter waters of the tropical north and beautiful Whitsunday islands providing the perfect backdrop for competitors from all over the world.
In fact, 75% of people that are part of the competition and visiting for the onshore festival are from overseas or interstate.
Closer to home, we also welcome a large number of visitors from our neighbours in Mackay and Townsville.
This event provides a massive economic boost to our region, with an incredible amount of money being spent locally on accommodation, retail, dining and tourism activities. It really is one of the most significant events held in the Whitsunday region. This year’s event is particularly important to help show the world that the Whitsundays is recovering from the devastating effects of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
It has been a hard few months but having this exciting event draw thousands of people to our region is something we are very thankful for.
Out on the water I’m sure there will be some fierce competition providing a thrilling experience for the competitors and making spectacular viewing for everyone else.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the sponsors and the great work by the Whitsunday Sailing Club in the co-ordination of this event – you do a fantastic job! Good luck to all the competitors.
I hope to see you there.
— Cr Andrew Willcox
Mayor WELCOME to the Whitsunday Sailing Club and the running of the 28th Airlie Beach Race Week.
Once again, the regatta format has been refined to provide the competitors, their families and friends, and the local community a great opportunity to be part of one of the best regattas in Australia.
This year has been particularly challenging for the organising committee, with Cyclone Debbie having a major affect on the area.
Many boats were lost or damaged, many businesses suffered major disruption and many homes were destroyed.
However, it is the strength of a great club to pull together to continue to grow this regatta.
As always, we aim to provide competitors with the best possible racing, with plenty of variety of courses and sailing conditions.
This regatta is unique in Australia as being able to provide a great sailing venue that allows both grand prix racers and weekend warriors to race side by side around some of the world’s best sailing waters.
On shore, we continue to run legendary after racing parties, with great music, great atmosphere, and plenty to eat and drink.
In addition, for the non sailors, we have the long lunch, the fun run, the famous coconut lotto, and opportunities to see the racing up close from our fantastic spectator boat.
None of this would happen without our volunteers, who gather each year to provide the facilities, the on water support, a national jury, great racing and keep the onshore events happening.
Led again by Denis
Many boats were lost or damaged, many businesses suffered major disruption and many homes were destroyed. However, it is the strength of a great club to pull together to continue to grow this regatta. — Ross Chisholm
Thompson and his team, together with the local organising committee, this will again be a great regatta.
Don’t forget to come back to the Whitsunday Sailing Club after racing each day, where the parties begin, the stories are told, and prizes are awarded for both on and off the water.
See you there.
— Ross Chisholm
Chairman Airlie Beach Race Week
Festival of Sailing
Cr Andrew Willcox.