Entry is open and the Notice of Race online for the 35th edition of Airlie Beach Race Week, but with marina berthing limited, necessitating a cap of 100 yachts/multihulls, organisers at Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) urge all prospective competitors to enter now.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, such as cruising being back in full swing post-Covid, berthing options are limited,” Event Chairman Ross Chisholm warned.

“This does not apply to those boats that can be stored out of the water, such as off-the-beach boats, trailable yachts, sports boats and others.

“With that said, we are very much looking forward to hosting visiting and local boats at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing once again,” Chisholm ended.

Holy Cow! owner, John Clinton, summed up nicely when he said of the event: “It’s pretty simple – we’ve been there every year. We sail by majority rules and the crew rules we go to Airlie. They can’t help themselves. They book quickly; they can’t wait.”

Clinton, a celebrated musician and yachtsman says, Whitsunday Sailing Club and it’s their officials run a good show. The sailing is magnificent. It’s not like Sydney Harbour where the sailing is over in an hour or two. You get a nice long race in great winds and tricky tides that you have to be on top of.

“The Club communicates with you 100 percent. They’re aware of the fact people use Race Week as a social regatta too – and we’re guilty of that! Airlie is a place you can survive on a shoestring, but there are also plenty of good restaurants and accommodation to choose from. Either way, you are looked after,” Clinton concluded.

Regulars and newcomers alike are expected to participate at the annual event to be held from 10-17 August. Racing is to take place on the pristine waters in the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands where, according to many competitors, ‘the courses are second to none’.

Crews rock to the music at Whitsunday Sailing Club. Photo by Vampp Photography

Ashore, activities are an extension of the racing component. Competitors arrive with family and friends after racing each day to musical entertainment from bands and solo artists with a variety of food options available in the grounds of the WSC and at the Club’s restaurant.

Other onshore attractions include the Welcome function with music, along with the increasingly popular Long Lunch & Wine Tasting. Otherwise, there is a plethora of eateries and attractions in Airlie Beach, making it the fashionable holiday destination it is.

Airlie Beach Race Week 2023 is open to Rating Passage, ORC Passage, One-Design classes, Performance Racing, Performance Cruising, Non-Spinnaker, Trailable Yachts & Sports Boat PHS and CBH classes, Multihull Racing, Multihull Passage, Off Beach Multihull, WETA 4.4 Trimaran and Off the Beach classes.

Boss Hog Trophy

The Boss Hog Trophy is the major trophy, awarded to the crew that best sums up the spirit of Race Week, displays sportsmanship and stands above the rest over the course of the regatta, on and off the water.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

For online entry and Notice of Race, please visit the official site: www.abrw.com.au

By Di Pearson
ABRW media

Main photo: Cruising Division 2 makes a splash of colour. Photo Shirley Wodson ABRW 2020