NEWS - 2009 Airlie Beach Race Week NOR now online

NEWS - 2009 Airlie Beach Race Week NOR now online

The first of Queensland’s major winter regattas, Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race 2009, is now less than four months away and organisers have the Notice-of-Race (NOR) published and on-line at

Event director, Denis Thompson said the excitement of Race Week, held from August 13 to 20, is starting to build and with the NOR published, entries are starting to come in.

Regatta organisers said the unique flavour of Airlie Beach Race Week will not change for 2009 and they are constantly looking at ways to improve the event for the competitors both on the water and ashore.

Meridien Marinas Abel Point has made further improvements over the past summer with landscaping around the waterfront and surrounds that will add to the ambience of the competitor's marquee where a lot of the social action takes place.

Along with the friendly after-race fun at the marina, Airlie Beach Race Week said there will also be some great social events in the main township with the local businesses putting out the welcome mat for all competitors and supporters. The full social calendar will be published on the event website soon.

Other improvements include dredging of the marina to allow more of the deeper draft boats to enjoy Race Week. Organisers explained that a gradual build up of silt in the pen areas over the past couple of years proved a hassle for the bigger boats, who were forced to pick the best state of the tide for getting in and out of the marina. This problem has been alleviated with a lot of the dredging occurring particularly on the arms used for Race Week berthage.

The race committee said it is always looking at ways to improve the courses used for Race Week and a couple years ago made a conscious effort to send the fleets northwest around the islands that make up the northern part of the Whitsundays. This, they said, has proved to be hugely popular with great courses, interesting scenery and much less tidal influence than the islands farther south.

Airlie Beach Race Week said, however, it was looking at expanding this option again this year and will be checking the tidal flows around the southern islands which make up the traditional courses for race week, endeavouring to minimise the effects of the current when designing the courses.

The sportsboats are a big part of race week and organisers expect to see another big contingent turn up in 2009. Pioneer Bay, they said, is ideal for the sporties with consistent trade winds, flat water and warm temperatures. With a combination of windward/leeward courses, big triangle courses with great reaching legs and some around the island courses as well, this fleet will have brilliant racing again this year, they added.

Airlie Beach Race Week said the Australian Sports Boat Association (ASBA) has enthusiastically endorsed its regatta as one of the main events on the sportsboat calendar in Australia.

It’s time time to dig into the back of the wardrobe for your loudest floral shirt and best sunscreen. So enter now at