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2023 Airlie Beach Race Week Day 3 - Too light and fluky for most - just four divisions race

by Di Pearson / ABRW 13 Aug 00:55 PDT 10-17 August 2023

Another sunny light air day Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) on Day 3, officials at Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) out searching for steady breeze, but struggled to get racing in, just four divisions raced while the rest floated around and watched whales at play and took in the scenery.

On another course area, the F16/F18s, Extreme 40s and Wetas sailed windward/leeward races and they went ahead. All other racing was cancelled, bar IRC/ORCi Division 1.

IRC/ORCi Racing

Andy Kearnan steered his TP52 Koa (NSW) to a win from Phillip Turner's Alive (Tas) skippered by Duncan Hine. Ray Roberts Team Hollywood (NSW) placed third, but her two wins of previous days mean she still leads the series by two points from Koa and a further two points to Alive, a RP66.

Extreme 40s

Joel Berg (Hooligan) and Mike Peberdy (High Voltage) have gone where some fear to tread, taking over first and second place in the Extreme 40 division with five races put to bed. Berg has two wins in his tally, Peberdy one, with Paul Mitchell (Ullman Sails) now in third place, with one win. All are from Qld. There is still plenty of racing left.


Andy Duffield (Wee Tri) took over the lead yesterday and has maintained after one race on the windward/leeward course today, however, it is on countback to last year's winner, the crafty Ryan McVey (The Other Office). McVey won the race from Duffield and Joanne Chetwynd (Three Amigos) who has taken up residence in third place overall.

F16/F17 multis

Three races now done and Eli Henebury (Bolt Racing) won Race 3 to take the lead from Emma Rankin (Goodall Design) whose unusual 11th of today drops her to second place. Mal Gray's Wild Cat moves up onto the podium in third place after a second place today.

Queensland Trailable Yacht & Sports Boat Championships

Although they did not race today, there is a lot on the line for those contesting the Queensland Trailable Yacht & Sports Boat Championships. After two races and coming into Day 3, high-profile boat designer, Julian Bethwaite, leads Division 1 with his new self-designed and built 89er, Don't Panic.

However, Bethwaite (NSW), leads on countback from one of the event stalwarts, Leon Thomas with Guilty Pleasures X, an 11-year-old Shaw 650.

New boat versus the more mature and we will have to wait until Tuesday to see what transpires.

Thereafter, on seven points apiece, are Vivace (Qld) the John Rae/Gary Smith owned Bethwaite 79er and Sandor Tornai's Bethwaite 8, Skeeter (NSW), so the pressure is on Bethwaite not only to beat the competition, but to beat his own designs!

"The boat is performing to perfection, the CBH (rating band) seems to be working well," Bethwaite said. The Skeeters (Sandor Tornai) and Yorkies (Andrew York with Like Oxygen) have been sailing reasonably. And here we are in the sunshine, not in cold Sydney, so we can't complain."

Bethwaite agrees too, that "Skeeter and Vivace are always going to be our main competition. We have to beat them by five minutes in a three hour race and that's not easy, they are both well sailed. It's all tight, but also fun," he ended.

In Division 2, Goggles (sometimes known as Jason Ruckert) has primed his Thompson 7, Mister Magoo (Qld), to perfection, winning both races in the last two days. Two points separates Goggles from Fletch Creedon's Thompson 750, Mustard Cutter (Tas). The latter has 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart winning crew (Celestial), Troy Grafton aboard.

Mini Mako (in deference to Mako, the Newcastle based Sydney 40 Tim Dodds owns shares in, that is also racing here in PHS Cruising), as well as Fuzzy Logic, owned by Simon Flitcroft (who defected from NSW to Qld), are waiting in the wings...

Goggles: "We're leading on CBH for the State titles. Yeah, we've had a couple of good races. The windy one suited us. We had a nice run down to the Cones. It was quick, we clocked at 16 knots, it was quite lumpy.

"Yesterday was a lot lighter and obviously the light suits the Magoo. We caught up to the Mustard Cutter down near the Bluff and that's probably what got us the win. We had our esky on board today, which was handy..."

On who to watch out for, Goggles states: "Mustard Cutter is the one we're keeping any eye on, we haven't been able to get them over the line at all. They're a Thompson 750, the size up from us. Fuzzy Logic might do well if it stays light."

"We are for sure happy to be up there for the State title. We've managed to beat the other Thompson 7 (The Stig) so that's good. This is our 14th Airlie Beach Race Week on Mister Magoo and I've personally done 18. We've had a good run out of this boat," Goggles ended.

Lay Day tomorrow, with racing resuming from 10am on Tuesday.

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

For full results in all classes, please visit

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