Airlie Beach Race Week: A search for light breeze on Day 3
Day 3 at Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) and officials at Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) warned the forecast was for a 5-10 knot east/south-easterly, which meant sending the bulk of the fleet further north to make the best of the breeze.
Looking to start on time at 10am on Pioneer Bay, the IRC class is on a 27nm course taking in Gumbrell and Olden Islands and Grimston to the finish. Performance Racing, along with Cruising 1 and 2 divisions are on a 24nm course that also takes in Gumbrell Island and Grimston, while Cruising 3, Non-Spinnaker, Multihull Passage and the Trailable divisions are on a 20nm course that takes them to Edwin Rock, Grassy Island and Grimston.
The Extreme 40s (Multihull Racing Division 0), F16/F18s and the Weta trimarans are on windward/leeward courses which could mix the results up somewhat.
The F16/F18s continue to be led by the Emma Rankin skippered Goodall Design, the crew scoring two bullets from two races. Ruel Rigging, skippered by Nicholas Reader, remains second placed, five points behind the leaders. The James Henderson skippered Jam Em has taken up residence in third place, with others champing at the bit just behind.
Luke Ratcliff is a newish recruit to the class with Heat Wave, moving from a sports boat of the same name which he also campaigned at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing in the last few years. Heading into racing today, he is in ninth place from 13 entries.
“I love these multis,” said Ratcliff, who up until now has been a pure monohull sailor. “These boats are so much fun, as are the people in the class, they’re all a bit mad! I’m loving the racing and I haven’t looked back since buying the boat.”
A superb early morning that has transcended into a beautiful day ashore and on the water. And despite a late night rocking at WSC, while many others watched the Matildas victory at the Club last evening, everyone will back up again tonight for the ever-popular Mason Rack Band. Expect a late one, as it is Lay Day tomorrow, no more racing until Tuesday.
Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
For full results in all classes, please visit: www.abrw.com.au
*Please note all results are provisional pending protests and other anomalies
By Di Pearson/ABRW media