Birthday boys and identical twins Brad and Craig Ginnvian are bringing their 50th birthday party north to the 24th Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week which starts on 9th August.
'Craig and Brad Ginnivan at Victoria’s Cairn Curran Sailing Club which was founded by their father'
They turn 50 on the 14th August, right in the middle of the regatta. So with a Jeanneau 49 charter boat cheekily re-named Fifty Shades of 50 for the occasion, they plan to kick up their heels with their mates and compete in the big-fleet Cruising Division.
Airlie Beach Race Week will be the first time the very competitive boys have tried their hand at Cruising division racing.
'We’re there for the social side of things. Because it’s a charter boat, we are venturing into new ground as both of us come from racing backgrounds. We’re not actually quite sure whether we are going to be up there in the Cruising Division or mid-fleet. I know we will have plenty of food and plenty of beer on board.
'I have asked Tim Parker from Whitsunday Sailing Club to make sure the handicapper isn’t too cruel to us,' Brad said.
That could be a tough call for the handicapper. The Ginnivans have recruited a notable team of Victorian sailors to help them around the Airlie track. On the deck will be ex-Fireball class champions Chris Byrne and James Maskell joining fellow Cairn Curran Sailing Club members, Mark Teasdale and Brian Reynolds.
Nautilus Marine’s national underwriting manager, Damian Pugh, has also been tempted away from his desk for the week. Brad expects to have co-sponsor Barz Optics also represented within the crew.
Adding to this group will be a guest appearance on the Monday before the birthday from RP52 Scarlett Runner’s owner, Rob Date. This drop-in by Date is a very special present for Craig who was a member of the build team for the boat and has continued on as a sailing team member.
While Brad talks up the party side of the event and how much fun all the chaps are planning to have, there is a poignant note to his drive to enjoy this Airlie Beach Race Week.
'This will only be the second regatta I have done this year. After winning the Australian Couta Boat Championship and the Portsea Cup in Sorrento earlier this year I had a random check-up and was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.
'After a major operation I was given the all clear just over five weeks ago and then sailed in the Etchells Winter championship finishing 10th in that world class fleet.
'It would good to put it out there that all yachties around the age of 50, of which there are a lot, should get checked for Prostate Cancer. It’s only a blood test, which most people don’t realise. I was lucky. I got tested and it saved my life. Now I can sail Airlie Beach Race Week.'
For event information and online entry, go http://airlieraceweek.com/
by Tracey Johnstone
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12:46 AM Mon 15 Jul 2013GMT
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