Ramping up to an Airlie Race Week
REIGNING and past yachting champions including Roger Hickman (Wild Rose), Bob Steel (Quest) and Peter Sorensen (The Philosopher's Club), are among those planning to beat the winter blues at the 26th annual Airlie Beach Race Week.
Hickman won the Rolex Sydney Hobart in December with his 30-year-old Farr 43, Wild Rose, while Steel has won the race twice with different Quests in 2002 and 2008.
Sorensen will join the pair in the IRC Racing class. The solicitor comes from a strong background in 16- and 18-foot skiffs, but has also proved his mettle with his Sydney 36 Cruiser/Racer, The Philosopher's Club.
His victories include the Sydney Harbour Regatta, Geelong Week and twice winning the Audi IRC Australian Championship.
Sports boats are also set to be an exciting category at the regatta, on from August 7-14. Mister Magoo (Jason Ruckert, Qld), The Ducks Nuts (Mitch De Vries, WA); Octopussy (Rees Howell, WA), Crank (Andrew Wiklund, Qld) and Vivace (John Rae, Qld), will all join in the competition on Pioneer Bay ahead of their state and national championships.
As usual, the cruising division is proving enormously appealing to those who have a more laid-back approach and who like to take in the unsurpassed views, where whale watching, dolphins at play and the odd turtle are all part of the event. Those entered so far include famous maxi of yesteryear, Condor, owned by WSC member David Molloy, plus John and Kim Clinton's unmistakeable Beneteau Oceanis 50 Holy Cow.
Competition is also building across the other classes and divisions.
Entry is online only and closes on Saturday, August 1.
For the entry form, Notice of Race and all information visit the regatta website http://www.abrw.com.au.