Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Excitement Machines head for Airlie Beach

by Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week on 20 Jun 2011
Stealthy - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2010 Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
The 22nd annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week is less than two months away and one of the most exciting fleets ever will be assembling for the August 12th-18th 2011 regatta.

With more than 100 boats expected to be racing across as many as ten classes, one of toughest and most competitive will be the Sports Boat Class.

The mid-winter warm waters of Pioneer Bay off Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef gateway, has proven to be a Mecca for sports boats and again this year it seems the largest fleet for the 2011 event calendar will be racing out of the Meridien Marinas Abel Point Marina.

Australia has a very active sports boat sailing scene, extending back to the early 1990’s. These light weight, high performance trailerable yachts with tall masts, extendable bowsprits and with giant sail areas use both crew weight and lead keels to counterbalance the force of the wind on their sails. They fly around race courses providing plenty of wet and wild action.

Australian Sports Boat Association President Darren Spence has been a regular at Airlie Beach as a member of the Melges 24 crew aboard Heath Townsend’s WA entry Kaito and expects the Airlie beach Race Week fleet to be the biggest of the year. He said today ‘Sports Boats fleets, which for many years have been concentrated on the mainland east coast are growing Australia wide, with a rapidly expanding West Australian fleet and good growth in Tasmania, where we will hold our 2012 Nationals.

‘We could have a record fleet at Airlie Beach this year and we are keen to have every Australian state represented. We had 15 boats last year - we already have 17 entries and I am hoping we will get about 22 or 23 this year and the action will be more interesting than ever.’

The field is wide open but Bob Cowan’s Lake Macquarie crew aboard the strongly campaigned Stealth 8 Stealthy is expected to be fighting at the front of the fleet for line honours probably against former 18 footer World Champion Peter Sorenson's Conquistador and French America’s Cup sailor Pierre Gal’s Kiss.


Last year on handicap Royal Queensland Brett Whitbread’s Egan 7.27 Blokes World won by just half a point from Stealthy from a brace of Melges 24’s, before going on to take the National title.

Victoria's Cameron Rae who won in 2009 in his Thompson 8 Laminar Flow has shifted gears, with a newly imported Shaw 650, one of three so far entered, along with those of David Mann from Gladstone and Dave Hewitt from NYRC, Noosa Queensland. These very light 380kg fliers give their big brothers a tough time and in the right conditions will take line honours. A Shaw 650 recently was clocked at almost 24 knots in Western Australia.

Already entered are five Thompson 7’s from all over the country, with the 2011 ASBA Nation Champion Michael Green's Elliot 7 Evergreen keen to spoil the Shaw party.

Spence credits the Class handicapping system for its recent success. ‘Our rating system, Sportsboat Measurement System (SMS) was introduced in 2007 and we believe that has been an important factor in the growth of our fleets. It has given us a bit of equality. It’s not perfect. The light boats have got an advantage when the breeze is soft because they get up and plane earlier. We are looking at divisions to try and keep the older heavier boats enthralled and racing equally with one another.

‘We meet regularly with yachting authorities as we continue to try and fine tune it. It looks like it is going to spread worldwide and it all started here.

‘The fleet in Hong Kong have decided to use SMS and it looks like Thailand and New Zealand will adopt it too. We are hoping in the near future to see boats from Asia and New Zealand racing in the Queensland winter sunshine at Airlie Beach Race Week.’


www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au


Latest entry list

BOAT NAME SAIL NO SKIPPER FROM DESIGN STATE DivNo
BLOKES WORLD 658 Brett Whitbread RQYS Egan 7 QLD 123
EVERGREEN E7-60 Michael Green MHYC Elliott 7 NSW 123
GO MAJIK 63 Richard Devries RMYC Magic 25 NSW 123
GUIDED MISSILE 7 John Rae MYC Stealth 8 QLD 123
KAITO AUS709 Heath Townsend GBYC Melges 24 WA 123
KETCHUP 7014 Steven England YKBC Thompson 7 QLD 123
MISTER MAGOO 7002 Jason Ruckert RQYS Thompson 7 QLD 123
MONKEY BUSINESS G108 Cam Rae RGYC Shaw 650 VIC 123
MUSTARD CUTTER 599 Scott Creedon MYC Thompson 750 TAS 123
RAYWHITE MORDIALLOC 7021 Greg Scherwinski RBYC Thompson 7 VIC 123
SITUATION NORMAL PC23 David Mann PCSC Shaw 650 QLD 123
STEALTHY RQ202 Bob Cowan LMYC Stealth NSW 123
STOKED 7008 Patrick Stokes TCYC Thompson 7 QLD 123
VA VA VOOM M5225 Tim Roberts M Elliot 7 VIC 123
VITESSE AUS710 Scott Farrimond RGYC Melges 24 VIC 123
WA CROMARTYENGINEERS 5887 Steve Harrison PESC Thompson 7 TAS 123
WHA-KA 3 Dave Hewitt NYRC Shaw 650 QLD 123

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug
Rio 2016 - Day 2 brings more tumult for some, salvation for others
The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. He picked up where he left off on Day 1 in Race 4 of the Men's RS:X class on the Escola Naval race area to record his third win in four races. Poland's Piotr Myszka finished second with Brazil's Ricardo Santos third.
Posted on 10 Aug