News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Airlie Beach Race Week - Early entries turn up interesting character
Airlie Beach Race Week - Early entries turn up interesting character

'Mark Hipgrave’s The Healer racing on Moreton Bay, Brisbane'    Tracey Johnstone ©

Sifting through the early entry list for this year’s Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week has turned up an interesting character among the Cruising Division entries.

Mark Hipgrave is a return competitor in Race Week having enjoyed his time there last year. He finished a pleasing third in Cruising Division 2. Now, there’s nothing unusual with that bit of news. What is unusual about Hipgrave is that before he gets to Airlie Beach this year, he is taking himself off on a single-handed voyage, the longest in Australasia.

Hipgrave is racing his Benteau 36 footer in the Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge. The quadrennial single-handed race for monohulls and multihulls starts on Saturday 20th April from Port Taranaki with the 14-boat fleet racing 1,380 nautical miles to Mooloolaba in Queensland.

It’s a unique challenge for Hipgrave who has never competed in single-handed racing. 'The motivation for the trans-Tasman came from a meeting with a guy called Trevor Hill who sails on Moreton Bay on a boat called Apriori. He entered the race in 2010 and was the first monohull home. I had a chat with him at a social occasion and he was so full of enthusiasm about the event, I thought, gee, I can do that. So it became a three-year plan,' Hipgrave said.

His boat is now safely in New Plymouth after he delivered it across in mid-March with two of his usual The Healer crew members. While they were sailing the boat across the Tasman the subject of this year’s Airlie Beach Race Week came up. 'We all had such a great time at Airlie last year. The crew asked me on the way if I was going to do it again this year. I said I hadn’t really thought about it. With the foundation of the crew in place right there though, when I got back to Brisbane last week I jumped on the internet and entered for this year.'

Before Hipgrave gets to enjoy Race Week he has quite a challenge ahead of him. He has a wealth offshore racing experience with crewed boats, but he has no single-handed racing experience. He has been practising his single-handed skills on Moreton Bay off Brisbane and completed the 500 mile qualifying voyage. 'I did that in early January, going out around Elizabeth and Middleton reef and then came back to Brisbane.

There will be a raft of new experiences Hipgrave admits he will have to deal with including the Tasman Sea currents, staying motivated and 'when the wind drops, being prepared to change a headsail or take a reef out, rather than bob along at less than optimal speed'. Then there will be the excitement and pressure of racing single-handed in a fleet of tough competitors.

'I am not going out to win so much as there is an Open 40 and a Pogo 40 in the event. I would like to equal or beat the other 36 to 40 footers.'

Once Hipgrave has completed his solo adventure he says he will be happily staying close to land, heading north to Airlie Beach in readiness for his five crew to join him for more Race Week fun. 'We had such a ball last year. I am not just saying that. It was a laid-back, fun regatta,' he said.

The Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race is on from eighth-15th August 2014. The Notice of Race and the online entry for the nine divisions is at

Entries close Friday 1st August 2014.

by Tracey Johnstone


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

11:02 PM Thu 3 Apr 2014GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2014 Airlie Beach Race Week

Related News Stories:

26 Mar 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week - Ladies on Schouten Passage to compete
24 Mar 2014  2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - New naming rights sponsor announced
18 Mar 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 - First to enter start line crowded
14 Mar 2014  25th Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 - Entries are now open
05 Mar 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week - Notice of race released for 25th anniversary
13 Feb 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week - Crew ready for action on Eureka II
07 Feb 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week – An attractive event for IRC boats
21 Jan 2014  Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 is going to be huge!
16 Sep 2013  Airlie Beach Race Week - Celebrating 25 years

News - USA and the World

470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,

Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,

2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing more than doubles overall lead
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day
AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here   
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier   
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race   
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target   
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage   
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years   
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified   
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt   
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander   
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT