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Airlie Beach Race Week: Pioneer Bay Race today

by Di Pearson/ABRW 15 Aug 17:50 PDT 11-18 August 2022

With another light on for breeze weather forecast today, the record fleet of 178 boats competing at the 34th Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) will shift gears as the much anticipated Bay Race, which normally occurs on the final day, has been moved up to today.

Explaining his rationale, Whitsunday Sailing Club's Ross Chisholm, the WSC Event Chairman said this morning, "The day's forecast is all over the place. A light south-westerly is expected to move to the north-east later, so we made the decision to keep the fleet inside the bay and moved the Bay Race forward.

"The forecast for the final day is looking better for an Islands Race, so we've made the swap."

Among those headed out to the course this morning is Peter Lowndes and his Wine Dark Sea. They are second overall in Performance Cruising going into the Bay Race.

The Sydney yachtsman, a regular in the northern regatta, has installed a new carbon fibre rig, boom and other accessories to the yacht. A new striking white spinnaker features a half full red wine glass.

"I'm preparing the boat for a tilt at the 2025 double-handed Melbourne to Osaka Race. I know it's a while off, but I want to do some other double-handed sailing in the lead-up, as much as I can," Lowndes says of his 20 year-old Lyons 49 design.

"I'm sailing fully crewed at Airlie Beach Race Week and will be at Magnetic Island Race Week too - where I want to take back the crown I won in 2019. They cancelled 2020 and we couldn't get there last year because of Covid restrictions."

Lowndes said that while the crew was here having fun, "We're having fun ashore, but we're here to try and win our Division."

Watch this space.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing is being held from 11 to 18 August. It is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Full results and all information on Airlie Beach Race Week, please visit: www.abrw.com.au.

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