The final races at Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) today will decide the winners across the various divisions at Whitsunday Sailing Club’s (WSC) 35th running of its signature event and signs are that racing should get away from 11.30am.
Conditions look to replicate those of yesterday, “Winds maybe even lighter and further to the left,” Race Officer Kevin Wilson told the on water team this morning. Wilson said to make the most of the light air, all racing would take place on Pioneer Bay, the Extreme 40 multihulls away from 11.35am.
All others will follow on at five minute intervals on two courses taking in Grimston and Bluff, with the exception of the Weta trimarans, which will sail windward/leeward races.
As per the Sailing Instructions, all races must start by 1pm and finish by 4pm, to allow time for competitors to pack their boats away and attend the final prize giving at WSC where they will also be entertained into the night by Flying Double Front Kick.
Going into the final race/s, a Kiwi boat making its first appearance at Airlie Beach is leading Division 1 of Performance Cruising. Graham Matthews and crew, representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron home of the America’s Cup, has taken a one point lead over Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire (NSW), skippered by Ian McDiarmid in Doctor Darryl’s absence.
A further point in arrears is early series leader, Mal Robertson’s Eureka II, so it all boils down to scores on this final day.
Division 2 is just as close. David Boekmann’s Bombolo (NSW) leads Jenny Langdon’s Femme Fatale (Qld) by one point and Greg Newton’s Antipodes (NSW) is half a point behind in third. This one too, will come down to the wire, as there are others hungry enough just behind them.
Division 3 and Greg Tobin’s Sydney 38, named 38 (Qld), continues to lead, but Lex O’Connor’s Nautical Circle (NSW) is three points behind. In turn, O’Connor has two yachts breathing down his neck, two points away. Graeme Trewavis’ Asadori (the local boat) and Bill Cinnamond’s Cinnbad (SA) are not waving the white flag just yet.
In Division 4, the leading margin is only half a point with a point and a half to third place. Daniel McSweeney’s Brigus (Qld) and two local boats, Craig Piccinelli’s Wobbly Boot and Andrew McConaghy’s Dragonfly are set for a fight to the finish.
Grant Ford’s Fordplay (Tas) has led the Cruising Non-Spinnaker division since the first race and he continues that way. However, there are four boats lined-up behind him, just waiting their chance… John Cable’s Shiraz (local) is two points away. A further two behind and sharing equal points are Jan Trueman’s Limpopo, Peter Harrison’s Awesome and Greg Davis’ Hot Chilli.
Check the official site tonight to see how these and other pointscores played out.
Today is the final day of Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing, supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland. It is a feature on the ‘It’s Live! in Queensland’ events calendar.
For full results in all classes, please visit: www.abrw.com.au
By Di Pearson/ABRW media