Airlie Beach Race Week – Racing away!

Airlie Beach Race Week – Racing away!

Day 1 at 2023 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) and the volunteer force that makes this regatta possible were out in force at this morning’s race briefing preparing for the opening race, a spectacular mass start from 11am.

Familiar faces at the 25th running of Whitsunday Sailing Club’s (WSC) annual regatta include twins Kevin and Ross Wilson and their wives Glenys  and Sue, along with Stephen and Rosemary Merrington and Graeme Henley. Along with others, they make the trip here from their interstate homes each year, such is their passion for sailing and giving back.

A 10-15 knot east-south-east wind is forecast for the day, with the fleet gathering on Pioneer Bay for the start and takes the bulk of the fleet up to Double Cone Island and Grimston, with the smaller boats on a shortened course. The skies are looking a little gloomy, but the warmth is here along with a nice breeze to start proceedings with.

The 120 plus fleet is split into Performance Racing, Performance Cruising, Non-Spinnaker, Trailable Yachts & Sports Boats (holding their Queensland Championship), Multihull Racing (boasting two dozen entries), Multihull Passage and Weta trimarans, from there broken down into divisions.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing offers a mix of windward/leeward races on Pioneer Bay and passage races around some of the most beautiful islands and scenery in the world is what competitors have to look forward to.

Yesterday afternoon WSC held the regatta briefing and last evening, the Welcome Party, which is always an enjoyable affair.

In between, competitors took the opportunity to buy regatta clothing from Duncan Curnow and his team at Quality Marine Clothing. Curnow and co will be at the event daily after racing, giving all and sundry ample time to get ‘kitted’. The full range can be viewed and orders placed at:

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 all information, including entry, please visit:


By Di Pearson/ABRW media