Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Airlie Beach Race Week Day 3 Preview: Family pride on the line

by Di Pearson 10 Aug 2019 16:50 PDT 8-15 August 2019

It's Day 3 at Airlie Beach Race Week and a breeze of up to 15 knots is on the horizon at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's 2019 event, which plays into the hands of the sports boats where winning is just about winning, it's all about family pride, with six of the ten entries chockablock with family talent on board.

The Sports Boats will draw swords on Pioneer Bay today on windward/leeward courses starting from 10am, with the remainder of the 109 entries on island courses.

REO Speedwagon is the newest vessel of Andrew York. 'Yorky' is a veteran America's Cup sailor with top results in a variety of other classes, such as Dragons, Etchells' and Lasers. Is he competitive? Hell yeah.

This week Yorky has friend Mark on main, Mark's wife Gemma is the 'floater' and their son Joel is up front where it's wet. York says: "We're a good combination; We understand each other."

That theory has already been proved, as REO Speedwagon is currently at the top of the leaderboard, a mere two points ahead of The Stig, a Shaw 650 skippered by Malcolm Dean. Both boats are from NSW.

Dean's boat was launched earlier this year and he has thrown down the gauntlet: "We've only raced it at Port Stephens, and we won," he says.

Dean specifically wants to beat his half-brother, John Rae, co-owner of Vivace (sitting in third place overall going into today's racing), a Bethwaite 79er, and of course the other Shaw 650, Kevin Clarkson's Lickety Split.

Tongue in cheek, Dean, from north of Sydney maintains: "We only got into the sports boats because the Morisset country club closed and the boys needed something to do. We're a bunch of lawn bowlers who love to sail almost as much as we love a rum or two."

Clarkson, owner of Lickety Split, has brother Scott on bow. The two have many Sydney Hobarts between them and have a long history racing 16 foot skiffs. Kevin moved from Sydney to Queensland last year and moved into sports boats.

"I'm pretty new to it and had nothing to gauge ourselves against until this Airlie Beach Race Week. We're on a learning curve and a bit slow, but really enjoying ourselves. I rang Ben De Coster (Managing Director of Hood Sails and a racing yachtsman) to talk about sails and tuning, so there's something new learned this week."

NSW brothers Luke and Paul Ratcliff purchased York's previous REO Speedwagon (the 7.2 metre boat is slightly smaller than York's 7.7m boat) and have renamed it RE-Heat. The brothers have grown up sailing, starting with Sabots and Flying 11's at Vaucluse 12ft Skiff Club in Sydney. Last year they were here with Heat, a Viper 640.

This year they have Paul's son, William with them, who has also come up through skiffs at 'Vaucy 12's'. Their secret weapon is Geoff 'Skippy' Williams, who also sailed skiffs at the same Club with the brothers Ratcliff. He does main on the boat and is the coach and the reason of calm.

Team Ratcliff is still learning their new boat and are looking to move up the rankings this week from their current fifth place. They are under some pressure, as Yorky won two previous ASBA nationals with this boat.

"We intend to do as many ASBA events as possible with a combination of family and friends," Luke Ratcliff says.

"It'll be a lot of fun. We've enjoyed our previous sports boat and look forward to sailing this girl as well as Andrew did," he ends.

Growing in stature each year, the event is enjoying coverage through the photographs of the international award winning Andrea Francolini, Queensland's Sharon Smallwood, Shirley Wodson, Andrew Pattison (Vampp) and Wasp, which is also providing drone coverage. World on Water is also here, as is Sails Magazine, while well-known American photographer, Mary Longpre, arrives today.

Our Facebook and Instagram coverage by Sharon Smallwood is rising in leaps and bounds, so go to the official site at: abrw.com.au where you will find all the ways you can follow both on water and onshore events.

Full results and all information: www.abrw.com.au.

Related Articles

ABRW 2020: Crews ready to face starters orders
Sixty boats are set to line up when the start gun fires at Airlie Beach Race Week Sixty boats across eight classes are set to line up when the start gun fires from the WSC official start vessel the for the first time this Friday to send the fleet on the first race for the 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing. Posted on 3 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week ready to roll
A healthy fleet of 70 boats will take part in the 32nd running of the event WSC officials are pleased to announce that a healthy fleet of 70 boats will take part in the 32nd running of Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, where a week-long sailing program and a fabulous social calendar awaits all. Posted on 28 Jul
Airlie Beach Race Week prepares
As Queensland border opening announced With the announcement that the Queensland border will open on 10 July to all but Victoria, Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) is working hard to make sure that Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, to be held from 6-13 August Posted on 1 Jul
Airlie Beach Race Week 2020: Full steam ahead
The Whitsundays Festival of Sailing all set for August As Coronavirus restrictions continue to ease around Australia, Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) is pleased to announce it is full steam ahead for Airlie Beach Race Week, the Whitsundays Festival of Sailing. Posted on 3 Jun
The rounding mark on a distant horizon
Bringing together Australia's sailing community at Airlie Beach Race Week Sometimes it's really hard to see the rounding mark on the horizon, even when everyone aboard knows that it's there - we just have to rely on the compass and keep all eyes focused ahead. Posted on 7 Apr
Airlie Beach Race Week 2020 entry open
Race day one will again involve a mass start for all participants Entry is open for IRC Passage, One Design, Performance Racing, Performance Cruising, Non-Spinnaker, Sports Boat, Trailable Yachts, OMR Multihull and Multihull Cruising divisions. Also, by popular demand, AMS Divisions will be added this year. Posted on 3 Mar
Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival tickets on sale
Race returns to the heart of The Great Barrier Reef The Whitsundays is set to come alive with festivities and fun when the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race returns to the Heart of The Great Barrier Reef in January 2020. Posted on 14 Sep 2019
Airlie Beach Race Week overall
Winners named at another successful Airlie Beach Race Week The 31st running of Airlie Beach Race Week has come to a close late this afternoon and all winners and placegetters will be feted at the official prize giving at Whitsunday Sailing Club this evening. Posted on 15 Aug 2019
Airlie Beach Race Week day 6
Ullman Sails and Evil Gnome win Australian Multihull title at Airlie Beach Race Week Paul Mitchell skippered Ullman Sails to one final win at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) to claim the Australian Multihull Championship title; finishing 11 points clear of nearest rival Posted on 15 Aug 2019
Airlie Beach Race Week day 6 preview
Grand finale shaping up to be a beauty The 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) grand finale is shaping up to be a beauty with east/south-east 15 to 20 knot winds expect and Ross Chisholm, the Race Director Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) advising all courses would be on Pioneer Bay for the final Posted on 14 Aug 2019
RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - FOOTERZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTER