WILD RIDE: Local boat Anthea will return for her second Airlie Beach Race Week. Photo: Sharon Smallwood
WILD RIDE: Local boat Anthea will return for her second Airlie Beach Race Week. Photo: Sharon Smallwood

Anthea back for second round

TO SIMPLY be "better than last year" is Anthea skipper Dewi Hughes' goal for Airlie Beach Race Week 2015.

Last year was the first time the 12.5m boat had competed in the famous race.

"Well, I was here for it, you see. It was my first time being here in the winter. I'm usually travelling or in England or trekking in the Himalayas," Mr Hughes laughed.

This year he's home again and ready to rumble with his five or six-man crew.

"Last year was a tough week because of strong winds most of the week. Lot of boats were damaged, but we managed and finished all of the races," Mr Hughes said.

This year he encourages national and international competition.

"It'll be fantastic. The more the merrier. We need more competition," he said.

"Small boats don't like offshore but Anthea is 41 feet, 10 tonnes. She's a heavy boat and can do it, which is also why she mostly cruises."

Anthea has been sailing in the Whitsundays for almost 10 years and will celebrate her decade anniversary this September.

The boat was bought brand new by Mr Hughes and his wife for cruising purposes.

Anthea took part in an Australia Day race in 2008 that introduced the boat to racing.

"Because we were a slower boat, we actually turned around quicker," Mr Hughes said.

Together with his crew, he has been preparing for this year's Airlie Beach Race Week by taking part in Whitsunday Sailing Club's offshore races, the Hamilton regatta and the Bowen Easter regatta.


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