Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2019 CODEZERO EVO Leaderboard

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

by Di Pearson 10 Aug 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

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
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
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
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
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5
Competition heats up with one day remaining The 31st Airlie Beach Race Week, hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club, is in its closing stages with just one day of racing remaining, so all 114 competing boats were out on the various courses today doing their best to cement a podium place Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5 preview
Another spectacular day expected Day 5 and weather forecasters have promised similar conditions to those of yesterday at Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club (WS, meaning 12-23 knots under sunny skies again. Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4
All to play for in the Australian Multihull Championship It's all to play for in the Australian Multihull Championship at Whitsunday Sailing Club's 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week - particularly for the local rock star. Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4
The diamonds and the dusty Day 4 and the 31st running of Whitsunday Sailing Club's largest sailing event, which reels in the big tourism dollars to the region, hit a new high note today, with winds reaching in excess of 20 knots and gusting 24 at times. Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 3
Glamour and glitz Cruising boats such as Eve, Vanilla 2 and White Swan are providing the glamour at Airlie Beach Race Week, the multihulls and today's weather are the glitz factor, and in fact the entire 114 entries put on a stunning show Posted on 11 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 2
Fun for all on Pioneer Bay Pioneer Bay provided the perfect vehicle for sailors, photographers and spectators on Day 2 of 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), with Whitsunday Sailing Club officials decreeing all classes sail on the Bay, resulting in a mass of colour Posted on 10 Aug
Naiad 660x82px_SuperyachtZhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERMarine Resources 2019 - Footer