Entries flow for race week

THE 23rd annual Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), from August 10-16, is shaping up as the best yet, according to Regatta Director Denis Thompson who says entry numbers are well ahead of expectations to date.

"With five weeks until racing starts we have more than 85 boats on our lists so far, spread across eight divisions," Thompson said.

The 2012 Telcoinabox ABRW has attracted two big ORMA 60 trimarans to its fleet. Last year's sensation, Simon Hull's Team Vodafone Sailing is back and will compete against Sean Langman's Brisbane-Gladstone winner Team Australia at the front of a very big multihull fleet.

"Even just the sound of the wind howling in their rigging is exciting. These boats can hit 40 knots in the right conditions and routinely hit 30 knots in the island passage racing," Thompson said. "All up we have 18 multihulls so far and that number is likely to increase. Across the board we have a wonderful fleet."

This year's IRC Racing fleet already has two TP52's entered, comprising Geoff Ross' Yendys and Anthony Lyall's Cougar II, while the IRC Cruising fleet honours will be hotly contested with Daryl Hodgkinson's Beneteau 45 Victoire among the favourites. The performance racers are John Bacon's McConaghy 38 Dark Star, Matt Allen's Farr 400 Ichi Ban, Geoff Lavis' UBS Wild Thing and Leo Rodriguez' Telcoinabox Merit.

The battle of the Beneteaus' will include Tony Ross from Ensign Racing with the Beneteau First 40 Black Label, her sister ship Mike Keyte's Take Flight and Kevin Fogarty's new Twister making for a very competitive fight. There are already 29 boats in the cruising fleets, amongst them Don Algie's Warwick 66 Storm II, Paul Effeney's Broomstick, Mal Robertson's Sydney 60 Eureka II, David Molloy's legendary Hammer of Queensland and Kim and John Clinton's Holy Cow.

For more information and online entry visit www.airliebeach


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