AROUND THE WORLD: The fleet of 12 Clipper yachts will arrive in Airlie Beach in January.
AROUND THE WORLD: The fleet of 12 Clipper yachts will arrive in Airlie Beach in January. Sharon Smallwood

Countdown to Clipper carnival

THE countdown is on to one of the biggest parties the Whitsundays has ever seen, with just 70 days until the Clipper Race Fleet sails into town and the Clipper Race Carnival begins.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a unique event which sees seasoned skippers paired with novice crews on an epic 40,000 nautical mile adventure.

The Whitsundays stopover will be the final one in Australia for the Clipper 2017-18 Race, and will be a fortnight of showcasing the Whitsunday region and what it is renowned for - beautiful scenery, amazing sailing and warm, Queensland hospitality.

The Whitsunday Clipper Race Carnival, from January 13 to 29, 2018, will be a whole-of-region event for visitors and locals and of course the Clipper crews, their families, friends and supporters.

Clipper Race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says the fleet "can't wait” to get to the Whitsundays, having already had a taste of delights the region offers in 2016.

"This will be our second visit to the Whitsundays, after the Clipper 2015-16 Race stopped in Airlie Beach on the way to Vietnam in January 2016,” Mr Knox-Johnston said.

"While we created memories to last a lifetime during that stopover, the 2018 edition, with the addition of the Whitsunday Clipper Race Carnival, will make it even bigger and better.

"With just 70 days to go, we can't wait to get there and are all now counting down to some incredible experiences.”

Theft out of frustration

Theft out of frustration

Geoff Thomas Hines, 69, had moved to Airlie Beach to retire

Jail time due to court no show

Jail time due to court no show

The man was sentenced to one month imprisonment

Carnival highlights local spirit

Carnival highlights local spirit

The acting principal said the event was one of the best to date.

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