THIS YEAR’S Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) has a record fleet of 189 entries (at time of publication), surpassing the all-time record of 133 boats, in 2016.
The first major regatta of the northern regattas season will run from August 11 to 18, hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC).
Organisers said ABRW was the only major sailing event able to go ahead in Queensland, in 2020 and 2021, during the COVID lockdowns.
“We are thrilled with the record entries across yachts, multihulls, sports boats and off-the-beach boats,” WSC event chairman Ross Chisholm said.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming one and all.”
Both regulars and competition ‘newbies’ will be present, with the Whitsundays’ pristine waters contributing to the second-to-none racecourses.
As well, the family-friendly social program is even bigger and better this year.
“We try to refresh Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing a little every year to keep it interesting, to make sure competitors return and to draw new ones in,” Mr Chisholm said.
“Entrants won’t be disappointed with the courses, and we planned a social program to suit entrants and their families and friends ashore too.”
The welcome function is on Thursday, August 11, from 6.30pm, when competitors and their supporters will enjoy entertainment from Matty Angel at the Festival Village, on the lawn at WSC.
Each day, after racing, there is a prize giving with musical entertainment, with dinner available nightly at WSC’s 20 Degrees South Bar & Restaurant (bookings essential).
There is also food and bar service available at the Festival Village.
On Sunday, August 14, the Long Lunch and Wine Tasting is on from 12pm (bookings essential).
Following racing, everyone will rock to entertainment from the All Stars with Emma Pask, followed by the Mason Rack Band.
Monday is lay day, when lunch will be available all day at the club.
On Thursday evening, the event will close at WSC with a fireworks display and entertainment from ‘The Feel’.