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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Fast boats ready for take-off

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AIRLIE Beach Race Week is sure to set pulses racing and hearts pumping when the multihulls and sports boats take to the water for the 35th event, from August 10 to 17.

The Mitchell name is synonymous with victory after victory, in Multihull Racing events. Brothers Paul and Dale head into major events with a target on their backs, whether racing together or separately.

Paul Mitchell returns to the fold this year with the Extreme 40, Ullman Sails (ex-Back in Black), after cleanly winning the division in 2021 with another Extreme 40, Angus.

Mitchell’s brother Blair joins him along with other regulars. They are the ones to beat.

So far, there are three other thrill-seeking Extreme 40s entered: Joel Berg’s Parabellum, Michel Van Der Zwaard’s Angus and Mike Peberdy’s High Voltage.

The latter two finished second and third respectively, at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing, last year.

Peberdy, who is doing his fourth Airlie Beach Race Week, gives a good assessment of his Extreme opposition: “To beat Paul is hard, he’s very good, but it can be done. Michel and I have been racing against each other for a long while, so we’ll be competitive. It’s one of those classes where the lead often changes.

“Sailing the Extremes are the professionals like Paul and Joel, while Michel and I are business guys who like sailing. We’ve had the boats for a few years now, so we are ready to go. I’ll be sailing with the core of my usual crew and there’ll definitely be a bit of banter between all of us,” he said.

“Then there’s the rest of them…,” he says, referring to the other 14 multis already entered in the division and equally capable of winning. “It’s good there’s so many boats coming. It‘ll make the competition more exciting.”

Previous top placegetters are also returning to the fray, including Peter Hackett’s Farrer 9R, Full Bore, Terry Archer’s Grainger 75, G’Nome and Clive Kennedy’s Farrier 85, Evil Gnome.

For online entry and Notice of Race, please visit the official site: www.abrw.com.au.

By Di Pearson/ABRW media. PHOTO: High Voltage is returning with renewed vigour – by Andrea Francolini ABRW.

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