Blue water racers gear up
COMPETITORS of Airlie Beach Race Week are gearing up to racing in the warm climate of the Whitsundays where the shore-side entertainment is guaranteed to be as action packed as the racing.
Boosted numbers across the board are sure to make for a stimulating program in 2016.
The Cruising divisions are swelling in numbers for the 27th running of the increasingly popular Whitsunday Sailing Club-hosted event.
And why not - with so much to take in - on the water and onshore.
Race director, Denis Thompson, has again composed thoughtful and varied courses to keep all racers on their toes and happy.
In the spinnaker divisions, 30 owners have already announced their intention to compete.
The famous Holy Cow owned by John and Kim Clinton was the first entry received by Whitsunday Sailing Club for this year's Festival of Sailing.
The Clintons will have other regulars for company, including Geelong's Bundaberg, the Adams Radford owned by John Kint, a famous blast from the past in Hammer of Queensland and the 29 year-old Kel Steinman pocket maxi originally owned by Arthur Bloore, but now campaigned by Michael Ireland.
Ireland said the yacht was lengthened from 66 to 76ft in 1992.
"She has won a race at every appearance at Airlie Beach Race Week, so look out," he said.
Airlie Beach Race Week has so far attracted entries from Hong Kong, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia.
Onshore, the music line-up is a veritable feast, from reggae on the opening night to old favourites from the '80s and '90s the following night.
On the third evening The Cadillacs will play '50s and '60s favourites.
Sunday night will feature Blues from the popular Mason Rack Band, and as Monday is the lay day, Gold sponsor Pantaenius Marine Insurance, will make a contribution to the festivities, much to the delight of competitors.
Competitors, family, friends and Airlie Beach locals are all invited to rock the nightly parties back at Whitsunday Sailing Club, so put the dates on your calendar.
Entries close at midnight on Friday, August 5. Late entries will incur an additional fee.