The Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week, which starts on the 8th August 2014, is the farewell regatta for Storm 2, a stalwart of the regatta for the last ten years and perennial Cruising Division line honours star.
Owner Don Algie has sold his 66-foot beauty to New Zealand with the boat departing Airlie Beach two days after the end of Race Week.
For the last 10 years Algie has campaigned Storm 2 to victory in the Cruising Division on numerous occasions. He admits it has been tough though as the yacht isn’t really suitable to short passage races. 'Storm is not really a club racing boat. It’s a fast, long distance cruising boat,' Algie said.
Storm 2 will be racing this year in the Race Week’s largest division with over 40 boats entered. Algie intends racing as hard this year as he would any other year, even though he might have the new owner on board for one or two race days.
His Team will be drawn from his 25 consecutive years of racing at Airlie Beach and from the ranks of Storm and Storm 2. His crew will include his twin brother Bob and his other brother, Peter Scaysbrook and Peter Gudge from Port Macquarie, Bruce Gosper from Nelson Bay, Graham Matthews, Alan Taylor, Peter Taylor and Kieran Smith from Airlie Beach, Glen Oranshaw from Port Douglas, Jean-Pierre Afflick from Byron Bay, Kevin Cochrane from Mooloolaba and crew boss Brad Acaster.
This year is a very special one for Algie. Twenty-five years ago when Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) were looking for a new sponsor for an existing three-race series event, Don Algie stepped up to the mark with his Hogs Breath brand.
The regatta was renamed the Hogs Breath Cruising Classic. Under Algie’s guidance the regatta morphed into Hogs Breath Race Week and then Airlie Beach Race Week.
WSC commodore Jim Hayes reported; 'Don was certainly the visionary and the driving force behind the development of the event into a world class regatta, melding top class racing organisation with the fun factor of the 'tropical shirt regatta' in Airlie Beach, the Tropical Resort Town.'
Algie is playing it low-key on what his Storm 2 will be doing to farewell the boat and celebrate 25 years of Airlie Beach Race Weeks. 'We will all be in the uniform of the Port of Airlie, our sponsor,' Algie said.
'We do have our own beer though; Storm beer,' he added. The beer was brewed in New Zealand no less, soon to be the new home of Storm 2.
While the local sailing community may be sad to see Storm 2 go, Algie is adamant he is not. 'It’s time to see her go. She’s 10 years old, but still like new. I don’t know what I replace her with. I might get a smaller boat like a Farr 40. I will look around and see what is there, something I can use as a club racer.'
Entries close Friday 1st August 2014.