There is a sense of excitement in the air as impressive yachts start arriving in Airlie Beach and the number of entries for Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week rapidly increases and includes a diverse variety of yachts in 10 different divisions. With two of the fastest yachts in the southern hemisphere already confirmed to race, this year’s event will be visually spectacular for people on and off the water.
Two massive trimarans that sail at speeds over 30 knots will contest the event in the Multihull division. Team Australia from Sydney and Team Vodafone Sailing from New Zealand will go head to head in the racing on Pioneer Bay. Whitsunday Sailing Club commodore Rob Davis says, “the start of racing on Friday 10 August at 11am will be extremely fast and exciting and even if you are not out on the water you will be able to see these massive boats from the foreshore. It will be well worth coming down to see this spectacular start.”
For those interested in boats, even walking around Abel Point Marina precinct will provide plenty of eye-candy with some of the best racing yachts in Australia berthed for the event. Local businesses are also going all out to create a great week of entertainment open to competitors and the general public. The Airlie Beach Hotel will have a live band on Saturday 11 August and the Village Café is holding a Tropical Shirt and Hot Rock Party on Sunday 12 August as well as running breakfast all day long, every day.
Skippers and crew who enter the event get great value for their entry fee of only $300/vessel including six days of racing and socialising, daily live entertainment at race headquarters at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, heaps of prizes, special offers, giveaways and impressive trophies. Competitors who have attended the event in the past know well the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere off the water and enjoy the after-race socialising as much as the fierce competition on the water. This year competitors will be bused from Abel Point to the Whitsunday Sailing Club at the finish of daily racing. The competitor marquee at the Whitsunday Sailing Club will be open from 3:30-7:30 daily except for the lay day on Monday 13 August when the Crew Party will be held from 11am – 4pm. Mama Africa, favourite local nightspot in Airlie Beach, will host the final after party on Thursday 16 August after the overall presentations have concluded at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. The Whitsunday Sailing Club bistro will be open to the public all week for lunch and dinner.
If you’ve never been to a Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week, the village atmosphere of the small tourist town of Airlie Beach combined with the throng of all the competitors and their support teams, fantastic daily racing on the water and a full schedule of social events makes it one of the most popular Queensland regattas. Combine this with the normally gorgeous August weather, one of the most beautiful waterways in Australia and a host of water-based activities and tours and it really is an ideal time to head north.
As Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week concludes the local Reef Festival heats up from 16-19 August with lots more events on the foreshore. Fireworks, live music, competitions, the pirate themed Street Parade and heaps of family fun will be on offer. The Great Whitsunday Fun Race and Pirate Party on Saturday 18 August is the culmination of a fantastic season of sailing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Come and be a part of what makes Airlie Beach the best party town in Queensland. For more information go to www.whitsundaysailingclub.com.au, www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au or www.reeffestival.com.au