Winds to blow for Airlie race week
SINCE entries opened in April, it has been clear a big fleet would assemble for the 23rd annual Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012 (TABRW). At least 121 boats and 1023 sailors are expected to be competing this year and the event is still accepting late entries so those numbers could continue to rise.
TABRW starts with a skippers' briefing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club today and runs until Thursday August 16.
Regatta director Denis Thompson has been following the weather patterns closely in his capacity as race director for one of the feeder races to the Whitsunday season, the 345 nautical mile Brisbane-Keppel Yacht Race, which started on Friday.
"The trade winds are expected to kick in after this week of very, very slight winds," Thompson said.
"It looks like by the start of racing on Friday we are going to see a Queensland coastal ridge develop and have good south easterlies blowing, so I am looking forward to some good racing," he said.
Racing starts tomorrow with the traditional Cones-Armit Race. Thompson said courses this year would be similar to previous events.
"The major event difference this year is that, while some of the fleet will be at Abel Point, some will be at Port of Airlie and another group will be on moorings in Pioneer Bay," he said.
The event hospitality will be at Whitsunday Sailing Club with a shuttle bus service from Abel Point to take competitors round to the club.
"And if you are reading this while shivering in the southern winter, expect 22-25 degree days and blue skies," Thompson said.
"The major problem for sailors ahead of the 2012 event is to remember to bring sun block and your loudest floral tropical shirts."
Further information, online entry and the notice of race are available online at www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au