Another warm welcome to competitors, officials, volunteers and supporters of Airlie Beach Race Week. Now in its 35th consecutive year, the event continues to grow, with last year’s event reaching record entries. Following that up with over 150 entries this year indicates the popularity of the event. The added challenge this year was to find sufficient berthing for competitors, given that both local marinas were fully booked. A lot of work has gone into sourcing every vacant berth in Airlie Beach, sourcing hard stand facilities for trailable boats, allocating moorings for some visitors. A special thanks to our team of volunteers and staff who have put hours into this exercise, as well as our own club members who have had to vacate their own berths to accommodate visitors.
Once again, the on-water team will be working hard to ensure 6 days of fantastic racing around the waters and islands of the Whitsundays. A fleet in excess of 140 boats makes for exciting sailing on the water and a great experience on shore. The fleet has been split into 17 divisions (another record) to ensure that similar boats are in direct competition.
As in recent years the regatta will start with the mass start race out to Double Cones Island. This has become a regatta tradition, and with the large fleet will provide a wonderful spectacle for competitors, spectators and media alike. The spectacle of 140 boats, mostly under spinnaker, heading off together is really something to be experienced.
On shore, the festival village will be in full swing, with a similar layout to last year. Once again we have organized the marquee, entertainment and plenty of food vans and bars. Upstairs, the club’s bistro and bar will be open, with the balcony overlooking the village. The Long Lunch on Sunday will also be held on the balcony, providing guests with an opportunity to view the racing area and see the boats returning from their day on the water.
We look forward to seeing you all on the water and at the social events ashore.
Event Chairman & Regatta Director