Little Nico, a fun and fast Rob Shaw 11m design, taking part in the Airlie Beach Race Week 2017 event. Picture: Andrea Francolini
Little Nico, a fun and fast Rob Shaw 11m design, taking part in the Airlie Beach Race Week 2017 event. Picture: Andrea Francolini

NSW sailor confident of win at Airlie Beach Race Week

New South Welshman Adrian Walters is confident he can take out the Airlie Beach Race Week with his Rob Shaw 11m Little Nico.

The yachtie was the first to sign up for the Whitsundays Festival of Sailing event but he faces stiff competition with more than 60 competitors quickly following suit from across Queensland, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

“I’m not surprised we’re first; I like to be organised,” the Middle Harbour Yacht Club sailor said.

“We’re coming back because I had so much fun last time we were there (in 2017).”

“We’ve come off a win at the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March, so we’re going to try to continue our winning streak at Airlie Beach, then Hamilton Island and Magnetic Island Race Weeks.

“We’re looking forward to some good competition to start us off.”

Other early entries include two Queensland Extreme 40s, Angus and Back in Black steered by Michel Van Der Zwaard’s who placed second in the MultiHull 2020 series.

Back in Black and The Boatworks go head to head at Airlie Beach Race Week 2019. Picture: Andrea Francolini
Back in Black and The Boatworks go head to head at Airlie Beach Race Week 2019. Picture: Andrea Francolini

ABRW will host the Australian Multihull Championships for the second time this year with Mr Van Der Zwaard expecting at least four other competitors beside him on the starting line in August.

“We are lucky to be here sailing the Extremes and to have so many – and the people to sail them,” the Whitsunday Sailing Club member said.

“At least once a week, Back in Black and Angus will be racing each other and we will mix the crews around.

“There are many good sailors who haven’t sailed these boats before, so they are just getting used to it.”

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Among Mr Van Der Zwaard’s Extreme rivals include Dale Mitchell whose ORMA 60 pipped him at the finish line last year and his brother Paul Mitchell, and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s Mike Peberdy with High Voltage.

Division 1 entries include regular Darren Drew with Crowther 50, Top Gun, and two South Australian Farrier trimarans: Gerald Valk’s Crosshair and Peter Hawker’s Carbon Credit.

Southport racer and multihull trophy winner George Owen has also entered his F28 Charleston which placed fourth last year.

To enter Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing and for more information, click here.

The full calendar of events can be found online or email the sailing manager at sailing@whitsundaysailingclub.com.au

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