20th Airlie Beach Race Week

20th Airlie Beach Race Week

When Don Algie launched the Hogsbreath Cruising Classic back in 1989 it was a small event in a resort town on the Whitsunday Coast. 20 years later, the Airlie Beach Race Week is a celebration of sailing, marine camaraderie and fun, catering to everything from cruising yachts to hardcore racers (and everyone between).

Held around the picturesque islands of the Whitsundays from Thursday August 13 to August 20, Airlie Beach Race Week provides sailors ranging from racing novices to experienced exponents with the opportunity to mix it competitively over six days of racing.

“Having seven classes of yachts, including cruisers, trailerable sports boats and IRC racing yachts competing simultaneously over different courses, allows us to support a diversity of sailing styles as well as different levels of expertise,” said Regatta Director Denis Thompson.

“While there is a racing category for everyone, Airlie Beach Race Week also traditionally hosts Australia’s largest regatta of high performance trailerable sports boats.”

Airlie Beach Race Week is hosted at the Meridien Marinas Abel Point marina, located on Shingley Drive, Airlie Beach. The facility has undergone considerable improvements over the past year to increase its capacity and facilities.

This year’s Airlie Beach Race Week will feature seven major categories.

* IRC Racing Class for the top class racing vessels.
* IRC Cruising Class for modern, fast cruising yachts.
* Performance Racing Class which bases handicaps on the known performance of a vessel.
* Sports Boat Class for thoroughbred, lightweight trailerable yachts.
* Cruising Class for all types of cruising yachts with spinnakers.
* Non-Spinnaker Class for yachts without spinnakers.
* One-Design Class for one type, yacht brands.

The cruising classes will follow courses using islands as key markers while outright racing designs will focus on designated course markers. Most events begin mid-morning with yachts scheduled to be back in the Abel Point Marina by around 4.30pm each day. The race program also includes a rest day in the middle. Around 100 yachts typically attend the event, many of them in the 30 to 50 foot class. A range of accommodation catering to all budgets is also available.

Visit www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au or call Denis Thompson on 0417 686 640 for more information.