Airlie Beach Race Week

Change at the helm for Airlie Beach Race Week

Airlie Beach Race Week
Former Airlie Beach Race Week Race Director, Denis Thompson, has retired from the 31st annual Festival of Sailing. Photo: Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photography

The Airlie Beach Race Week organising committee is saddened to report that long time Race Director, Denis Thompson, has withdrawn from this year’s event due to personal health issues.

It is well known within the sailing fraternity that Denis has been suffering with health issues for some time, and it is important that he concentrates on his personal wellbeing.

All of the Whitsunday Sailing Club Race Week organising committee and the sailing fraternity wish him a speedy recovery.

Denis Thompson at the 30th anniversary Airlie Beach Race Week in 2018.
Denis Thompson at the 30th anniversary Airlie Beach Race Week in 2018. Photo Andrew Pattinson/Vampp Photography 

Denis has been associated with Airlie Beach Race Week for 14 years, during which time the event has changed and grown substantially.

Denis has also been responsible for growing the level of professionalism, both in the competitive fleet and in the operation of the event.

Over the years, Denis has recruited a number of key volunteers, many of whom are now regulars who turn up year after year to ensure the event runs smoothly.

The current chairman of the regatta organising committee, and event Principal Race Officer, Ross Chisholm, has been appointed as Race Director for the 31st Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing.

Airlie Beach Race Week
Ross Chisholm; WSC Event Chairman, ABRW Principal Race Officer and now also Race Director – Photo Sharon Smallwood

Combining these roles will be a fine balancing act, however the well known international Race Officer will be well supported during the event.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing runs from 8 – 15 August 2019, based at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Entries are currently open from the regatta website,

For entry, Notice of Race and all information on the regatta from August 8-15, visit: