Regatta Director’s Message
Welcome to another Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing. After last year’s 30th Anniversary event, this year is slated to be bigger and better than ever with the Australian Multihull Championships added to the event. This will showcase some of the fastest and most spectacular yachts in Australia, with competitors able to see the latest technology in foiling as they go past. This event is now one of Australia’s major regattas, with its own uniqueness, combining the picturesque Whitsundays with competitive racing and great on shore events.
Once again, the regatta will start with the mass start race to the Double Cone Islands. This was a huge success last year, and still has people talking. The spectacle of 100 plus boats, mostly under spinnaker, heading off together is really something to be experienced.
The fleet has been grouped into divisions, with consideration to the performance and wishes of each, to ensure that similar boats are competing together where possible. Likewise, courses are reviewed and modified each year to suit the expected wind and tides.
On shore, the program has also been reviewed, with the entertainment selected to suit the requirements of competitors and the local community, with plenty of opportunity to discuss the day’s events. New this year are the Craft Beer & Fabulous Food Pairing event on Saturday, aimed to complement the traditional Long Late Lunch on the Lawn on Sunday. There is also a Family Fun day at Northerlies prior to the prize presentations and entertainment later in the day.
Finally, we must note our appreciation of the work done by Denis Thompson over the past 14 years as Race Director. His commitment to the event has been profound, and has had a major influence in the event growing into what it is today.
We look forward to seeing you all on the water or at the social events ashore.