Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2011 - Home town advantage

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08 Aug 2011

Home town advantage at Airlie Beach Race Week

This morning we talked to Mick Phillips, a former President of the Whitsunday Sailing Club and one of the proud stalwarts of Whitsunday sailing, who explained why the locals do so well at Race Week.

‘There is a significant home town advantage for the Whitsunday Sailing Club sailors.

'The Whitsunday tidal gates are totally unforgiving so local knowledge really counts. If you don't know exactly where you need to be on the water and at what time, you are out the back door and any amount of handicapping won't help you.

‘I have seen boats just 20 metres apart but by the time they have gone through the tide gates they have been half a mile part. Local knowledge goes a long way particularly around Pioneer Point and anywhere through the Molle Channel.

‘The bottom of South Molle Island is pretty unforgiving. If you have a look on the chart it will tell you the tide runs at two and a half knots there.

‘So when the tide is running against you, if you can get in within ten metres of the rocks where there is much less current and often back eddies, and work that ten metre line around the rocks, then you are going to be a long way in front of any boat that sticks its nose out into the current. You have a half mile advantage straight away' Mick explained.

He continued ‘In those tidal areas the shallower drafted little boats do well. The big boats that have to stick out into the tide are at a disadvantage.

‘Some of the Airlie Beach Race Week northern races that go around Gloucester and Grassy Islands and also the Twin Cones have significant tidal flows too. There are some real tricks in getting to the Cones with the way the tide curves.

‘Boats that go wide don't seem to do that well.

‘Heading south, if you have a steady south easterly sometimes going in right to the mainland shore and working up the shore, particularly if you have a tide against you, is the answer.

‘This week we'll watch with interest how the locals go, to see if the tides go with them' smiled Mick.

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The Major sponsor Meridien Marinas are proud to be involved with Airlie Beach Race Week for the fifth year.

Meridien Marinas is part of Meridien, a development company that creates world-class, five star marina villages. With a commitment to operating the best marinas in Australia, Meridien Marinas' focus is on creating outstanding marina developments that establish new world standards in marina design and operations. Four Meridien Marinas developments currently setting new standards in marina design are Abel Point, home to Airlie Beach Race Week, Horizon Shores on the Gold Coast, Port of Airlie also in Airlie Beach and Marina Mirage, Port Douglas.
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For further information concerning the 2011 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week please contact: Media Director Rob Kothe Phone +61249772116 Mob: + (0) 418 441359 Email

Regatta Director Denis Thompson : Tel 0417 686 640



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