Young Australian of the Year Jessica Watson will be visiting Townsville and Magnetic Island this week, in her role as Queensland’s Season of Sailing Ambassador, for the start of the 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week on Thursday.
Jessica Watson helming the Sydney 38 Elle Bache down-wind - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
Queensland’s winter sailing regattas have been steadily growing in importance over the last quarter of a century. Hundreds of thousands of sailors and their families have come to Queensland to sail in the state’s world-class sailing destinations.
Events on Tourism Queensland’s 2011 Season of Sailing Calendar included the Brisbane to Gladstone in April, the Etchells Australasian Winter Championship in Mooloolaba in June, the recently completed Brisbane to Keppel race and Airlie and Hamilton Island Race Weeks, which finished last week ahead of the final event SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week - September 1-6.
Over the last five years the Townsville Yacht Club organised Magnetic Island Race Week has become one of the fastest growing regattas in Australia, this year with a record fleet of almost 90 boats.
The young Buderim sailor who made a triumphant return to Australia three days before her seventeenth birthday in May 2010 after her seven month ocean voyage, is now preparing for her first Sydney to Hobart in December 2011. Last week, as part of that preparation she sailed in the Hamilton Island Race Week regatta.
Jessica will be at the SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week Welcome Reception with competitors of the regatta and sponsors. She will be welcoming the competitors, speaking about the regatta, Tourism Queensland’s Season of Sailing and her experiences.
On Friday morning, she will be at the Picnic Bay Surf Life Saving Club, the Strand, and Townsville where she will be talking to the Townsville corporate community about the regatta, season of sailing and her experiences.
She will then return to Magnetic Island to talk to sailors from the 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week fleet at the Marina before they set sail for the day.
More at www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au