Despite the latest lockdowns in NSW and the south east corner of Queensland, organisers at Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) are looking forward to welcoming competitors and their supporters to the 33rd running of Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), which starts on Thursday with registration.
What was to be a record entry of 173 boats for the week-long regatta, has depleted to around half that number. However, Queensland sailors, along with those from interstate that were able to get to Airlie Beach ahead of lockdowns, are keen to hit the water for the first race on Friday.
Airlie Beach Race Week was one of the few major Australian regattas able to go ahead last year because of the same support it has received from boat owners, their crews, family and friends this year.
“We are committed to giving those who are able to be at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing the best event we can, just as we did last year,” promised Event Chairman, Ross Chisholm, who with his committee is working hard with last minute details.
“The same measures will be taken and restrictions in place to ensure we give our entrants the safe regatta we delivered last year,” he said.
Chisholm added, “Our organising committee feels for boat owners, skippers, crews and supporters who were planning to make this a bumper year, and who are now unable to attend due to matters outside their control. These people made a substantial commitment to being here, many being forced to miss out for the second year in a row.”
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer Tash Wheeler said with the ever-changing landscape of restrictions and lockdowns, it is imperative that locals get behind and support Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing, which kicks off later this week.
“Events play a significant role in helping to build awareness for The Whitsundays and creating job opportunities across our region. Airlie Beach Race Week showcases some of our best assets: community spirit, clear turquoise waters, secluded coves and fringing reefs, highlighting that The Whitsundays is the Heart of Sailing,” Wheeler said.
“This is not an event you will want to miss. For all locals with a love for sailing and the open waters make sure you get behind this great event and support local,” she ended.
Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland. It is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
The annual event is set amid some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and rewards entrants with the bonus of whales, dolphins and other sea life visiting the course areas.
For all information on Airlie Beach Race Week, please visit: www.whitsundaysailingclub.com.au
By Di Pearson/ABRW media