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SOS Ocean Racing preparing for Airlie Beach Race Week

by SOS Ocean Racing on 22 Jul 2010
Ian enjoying a sunset off Airle Beach - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Ian Thomson
Earlier in the year SOS Ocean Racing broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of Australia. Having settled back into life in his home town and conitnuing his work in showing tourists the magical Whitsunday Islands, it is now time to set his custom Welbourn 12m a different task. Ian will compete in this year's Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week with a full crew.

Commenting on the Tropical Shirts regatta Ian said 'Last year was my first Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week. I had competed at Hamilton Island on many occassions and I believe this is a far better regatta. What I loved about this regatta are the race courses and the after race tent where you talk story about the days events. The courses are a full days racing so you get to spend time sailing and then at the end of the day, the hospitality tent is always buzzing, especially when John from Holy Cow and the Wolverines play.'

Last year Ian was using David Elliot's Farr 40 e11even and crewed the boat with all locals to give them a taste of what it is like to compete against Australia's best. This year Ian is offering anyone a chance to join him simply by bringing sponsors to his newly formed organisation Save Our Seas Australia.

Ian's world record around Australia solo record was all about raising awareness of the damage plastic bags do to our environment and he has now formed the Save Our Seas Australia organisation to continue that work. He is currently looking for founding sponsors to kick the program off and is offering anyone who can bring sponsors to the program a chance to sail with him in ABRW and other major offshore races. 'I am really keen to continue my work to get rid of plastic bags and plastic in our ocean. I formed the Save Our Seas Australia organisation to continue that work. It will focus on the 3A's, Awareness, Alternatives and Action.' Ian said. For more details on the program visit www.sosoceanracing.com which will be the home until the new website is up and running in a couple of weeks.

So if you can help out Save Our Seas Australia and want to sail in Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week, get in touch with Ian personally through his website (www.sosoceanracing.com) and come and join in the fun at the Tropical Shirt Regatta.
Ian said 'Meridien Marinas is one of my sponsors, generously providing me berthing before and after my world record attempt. Their sponsorship of this great race is perfect as it is based in their Abel Point Marina which is one of the best in Australia. There is plenty of room for the entire fleet and the local hospitality is always first class. Why else would I call it home.'

Ian will enter SOS Ocean Racing in the Performance Racing division. This division is usually hotly contested by boats that don't rate too well on IRC opting for this division. 'With SOS Ocean Racing being an offshore racer she doesn't rate too well around the cans, in fact just last night I finished dead last in the Wednesday twighlight race. It might pay to also mention I had the best looking crew out there with a predominantly all girl crew who had never sailed before. My theory was that with the best looking crew, I wanted to sail for the longest time so rather than finish up the front, I paced the back markers. Well that is my theory and I'm sticking to it' Ian said. At the presentation last night at Whitsunday Sailing Club, Ian was awared the SML Award, Stone Dead Motherless Last. Usually this is presented to the boat making the biggest stuff up and with no real contenders they decided Ian had stuffed up the entire race.

On a serious note though, Ian enjoys his sailing and being back with friends on board he is proving that good times can be had. In Airlie Beach Race Week, when the courses open up again and he gets to open the boat up with spinnakers, it will be another kettle of fish. 'My boat goes downwind really well. She doesn't like upwind work but in Race Week I will have the water ballast working and the crew will be more focused on actually sailing the boat rather than having fun so I expect our performance to lift a little' Ian commented. Either way we are going to have fun or it just isn't worth racing.

For more details on Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week visit www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au

To join Ian for this race visit www.sosoceanracing.com

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