Battle of Blues and Maroons will play out on the water
A STATE of Origin style battle will play out at this year's Airlie Beach Race Week as coronavirus restrictions limit competitors to the rival states.
The festival is set to go ahead next week from August 6 to 13 but will look slightly different from previous years with the social calendar limited to competitors and crew.
A fleet of 70 boats will take place in the week-long sailing program, including Dale Mitchell's ORMA 60.
Heading the fleet for IRC honours is New South Wales's Ray Roberts with his Botin 40, Hollywood Boulevard.
Race director Ross Chisholm said the weather was working in their favour ahead of the big week.
"(It) looks like it's going to be an excellent week of sailing and we're looking forward to welcoming competitors and their guests," he said.
Plenty of action will also take place on shore for competitors with a welcome function, long lunch and wine tasting and a Blown to Bowen lay day tour featuring a blokarting demonstration event and a lunch at the Horseshoe Bay cafe.
Competitors can follow the action on the water from a prime position on the Sundowner, the official spectator cruise vessel.
Speaking last week, club's event manager Caitlin McLuskey said it was a shame the public were not able to get involved in this year's event because of coronavirus restrictions.
However, Ms McLuskey said the 2021 installation of the event would be "bigger and better than ever" and that management was exploring the opportunity to host smaller community events as restrictions ease.
For more information on the events held throughout the Airlie Beach Race Week, click here.