With a record number of sailors, over 1000 spread across 122 boats, the 23rd annual Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week is already a great success, says long time Whitsunday Sailing Club race official Jim Hayes, the Principal Race officer for this event.
Sailing: Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Sailing Club (AUS). 12/8/2012. Photo - Teri Dodds.
Hayes reported today ‘The weather gods have been kind to us, from our Friday Cones-Armit Race to the Molle Island Race on Saturday and again for the Island Passage Race yesterday, we've had great trade wind breezes blowing at a gentle 10-15 knots and blue skies.
‘On Sunday the conditions could not have been better for the Grand Prix IRC fleet who enjoyed , steady trade wind breeze from the east south east at 10-14 knots all day.’
Hayes explains ‘Overall this has been an easy regatta for race officials, with consistent wind directions and strengths.
‘Looking ahead, more wind is forecast for Tuesday, though it’s not likely to reach the 20-30 knots that could be seen further out towards the reef. Winds are expected to ease back 10-15 knots for the balance of the week.’
Multihull race start - Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012
For the last decade or more there has been a hospitality area at Abel Point Marina, but with the change in sponsorship arrangements in 2012, the After Race Hospitality Centre is now on the lawns of the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
Jim Hayes continued. ‘The new arrangements are going really well. Some of the boats are berthed in Port of Airlie; some at Abel Point and the balance are spread across the Bay.
‘A steady stream of shuttle buses brings the crews to the WSC after racing from Abel Point.
‘It’s obviously a popular venue, with sailors and their families able to spread out across the lawns and have a relaxing time after racing. It’s a great social scene.
‘While some people are choosing the option of going upstairs for dinner, we are encouraging people to go to town for dinner and the evening’s entertainment.
‘This year, more than ever before, the event has received strong community support. The event has a long list of sponsors; most of them are from the tourism industry and are really doing it tough.
‘This year’s event is obviously providing a much needed boost to the industry just before the tourism season gets into full swing.’
For detailed news, results and images please visit the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week website www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au