Sponsor sets sailing quest
CHALLENGING navigation and beautiful seascapes are all part of the allure of Airlie Beach Race Week for Pantaenius Australia CEO James MacPhail.
Not only will the marine insurance company chief be supporting this year's event as its major sponsor, but he'll be competing himself.
MacPhail is no stranger to Airlie Beach, having sailed in the regatta at least six times since the 1990s.
This year he'll be campaigning aboard the brand new Mark Mills-designed performance yacht, Quest.
Quest is owned by former Sydney Hobart winner Bob Steel, with whom MacPhail has sailed in numerous regattas on former Quests.
While he's looking forward to some serious sailing and supporting an event that caters to his clients, MacPhail is also determined to have fun.
"And I think personally and as a company, Pantaenius sees the Whitsunday region as a significant area in the marine industry, and this is an opportunity for us to give a bit back," he said.
Airlie Beach Race Week marketing director Adrian Bram said while the Whitsunday Sailing Club had funded the greater part of this year's regatta, "an event on this scale would not be possible without the support of a range of sponsors, the vast majority of which have been local businesses".
He also paid tribute to the army of volunteers, "because without them, really the event can't occur".