A message from Cr Andrew Willcox – Whitsunday Regional Council
2019 Airlie Beach Race Week – Festival of Sailing
It is with great pleasure that I welcome the many competitors and their families, visitors and locals who are part of this year’s Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing; one of the most anticipated sporting events on the annual calendar.
This year we celebrate 31 years since the first Airlie Beach Race Week was held and race organisers are expecting around 130 entries again this year, bringing with them over 2,200 crew and followers.
As Mayor of this beautiful region, I am not surprised that this event continues to grow with the warm winter waters of the tropical north and beautiful Whitsunday Islands providing the perfect backdrop for competitors from all over the world.
In fact, 75% of people who are part of the competition and visiting for the onshore festival are from overseas or interstate such as Hong Kong, New Zealand and Victoria. Closer to home, we also welcome a large number of visitors from our neighbours in Mackay and Townsville.
Each year this event provides a fantastic onshore social events program for our visitors to complement the fierce competition out on the water. This year is no different and to add to the excitement, Northerlies Beach Bar & Grill will host the only off-site presentation night. Another new addition is the Craft Beer and Fabulous Food Pairing, designed to showcase some of the region’s best food matched to specific craft beers.
It really is one of the most significant events held in the Whitsunday Region. I have no doubt this year’s event will provide a thrilling experience for the competitors and make spectacular viewing for everyone else.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the major sponsors and local supporters of this event, not to mention the great work undertaken by the Whitsunday Sailing Club and everyone involved in the coordination of this event – your efforts are evident in the success of this event year after year.
Good luck to all the competitors over the course of the event. I hope to see you there.
Cr Andrew Willcox