Please select your home edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Airlie Beach Race Week ready to roll - on and off the water

by Di Pearson 28 Jul 06:36 BST 6-13 August 2020
Setting sail on another sunny day at Airlie Beach - Airlie Beach Race Week 2019 © Andrea Francolini

Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) officials are pleased to announce that a healthy fleet of 70 boats will take part in the 32nd running of Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, where a week-long sailing program and a fabulous social calendar awaits all.

To be held from 6-13 August, competitors are readying for a 'State of Origin' style battle, with the bulk of boats representing Queensland and NSW due to ongoing Corona Virus restrictions.

A variety of fast designs will take to the course in the Multihull Racing field, among them Dale Mitchell's ORMA 60, 'ORMA W60'. The Queenslander has upgraded to the formerly named Frank/Team Vodafone Sailing.

Mitchell says the 60 foot trimaran "targets average speeds of 18 knots to windward in 25 knots of breeze, or 30 knots on a broad reach. The top speed achieved by the previous owners was 45.6 knots," which is extremely fast.

Heading the fleet for IRC honours is NSW's Ray Roberts with his Botin 40, Hollywood Boulevard and Trailable Yachts defending champion, Masquerade (Tom Vujasinovic, Qld), returns. The Cruising divisions will again provide the most eye-catching colour on the course each day with their large numbers, with Performance Racing and Sports Boats divisions joining them on the water.

"Looking at long range weather forecast, looks like it's going to be an excellent week of sailing and we're looking forward to welcoming competitors and their guests," says Race Director, Ross Chisholm.

That will suit competitors and those planning to follow racing from the stable deck of 'Sundowner', the official spectator cruise vessel which has seating for 40 people and an on board bar. Step on board for a glass of bubbles and pastries as part of the package. All bookings in advance to or phone: (07) 4948 3000.

For interested parties heading north, Chisholm says, "Between Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks we have organised a Safety and Sea Survival course, and a refresher course, for Friday 14 August at Whitsunday Sailing Club."

Onshore, Whitsunday Regional Council has kindly set aside 10 trailer parking bays at the Council's Coral Sea Marina boat ramp. All tide-accessible, boats are invited to launch and hall out daily. For those trailer boats that remain on the water, owners may store their trailers and vehicles at this convenient location.

Event Chairman, Adrian Bram says that while Whitsunday Sailing Club will of course comply with social distancing requirements, "We have nevertheless put together a great onshore social program with something to please everyone.

"I would strongly advise competitors to book early for dinners and functions at the Club's recently refurbished 20 Degrees South Bar & Restaurant. Because of current restrictions, we can only accommodate so many."

On the calendar is a Welcome function; a Beer and Bubbles Gourmet BBQ and tasting; the ever-popular Long Lunch and wine tasting; and a Blown to Bowen lay day tour featuring a 'Blokarting' land-yachts demonstration event, followed by lunch at the Horseshoe Bay Café.

Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill is offering a pizza lunch on lay day, and supplying free bus transfers for Race Week crews to and from Coral Sea Resort Marina.

Back at the Club on lay day, there is an all-day lunch and then dinner at 20 Degrees South, for those who prefer to enjoy the views and local hospitality.

Each race day, a daily winners hosted function for skippers and two crew members will be held at WSC. Numbers in the upstairs restaurant are limited to 100 guests and to competing boat crews from 6:15pm to 7:00pm on race days.

Crews, volunteers and WSC members will be welcomed at the downstairs bar during the above times and later into the evening. Presentations will be live streamed to screens downstairs and on Facebook to crews and followers. Arrive early as guest numbers are limited.

Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing is the region's premier sporting event.

For all restaurant and event bookings, please email

For full information and to make social bookings, please visit:

Related Articles

Airlie Beach Race Week overall
Final race decides winners Sixty four boats to part in the 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, hosted by WSC, which had a difficult job on their hands between the light and fluky conditions and imposing restrictions caused by the CoronaVirus. Posted on 13 Aug
Famous golden oldie scores division win
Ragamuffin 111 shines at Airlie Beach Race Week Stuart Tivey and his partner Lisa Sampson were thrilled to win Race 5 in Cruising Division 1 at the WSC 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing yesterday with their famous German Frers 48, Ragamuffin 111, built in 1975. Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5
Desperado and G'Nome slay the giants A long wait ashore for 64 crews as officials continued to monitor the weather, or lack thereof on the Pioneer Bay course, for the penultimate day of Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC). Posted on 12 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5 preview
Debut for Black Diamond It's Day 5, the penultimate day of racing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, and among the entries is a newcomer, Glenn Burrell's Black Diamond. Posted on 11 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4
Back in Black and Team Hollywood in control Michel Van Der Zwaard's Back in Black, here for a second year running, has taken a slim four-point lead over newcomer to the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) hosted event, ORMA 60 (Dale Mitchell), who represents the host club. Posted on 11 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4 preview
Competitors ready for another day of racing Refreshed from the lay day and having effected any repairs. or undertaken training, the 64 boats competing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosted Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing 2020, are back on the water today for Day 4 of racing. Posted on 11 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week lay day
When the chips are down humour is precious Leon Weaver left the race course yesterday thinking he had won the Trailable Yachts Race 3 to claim the overall division lead at Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, however, in the blink of an eye things changed Posted on 10 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 3
Another day for the light air specialists Entrants in the Performance Racing division took their turn at windward/leeward course racing, sailing two races of two laps each in 6-8 knots. Mister Magoo is making her 12th appearance at Race Week, while her owner, Goggles, has done even more. Posted on 9 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 3
Stakes raised as Airlie Beach Race Week approaches halfway mark Day 3 at WSC 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, and with racing to kick-off from 1030am this morning, competitors were looking forward to another day of decent sailing conditions, not dissimilar to yesterday. Posted on 9 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 2
Winds arrive and ORMA 60 makes it two from two Despite a forecast for more light winds at the Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing today, the winds Gods changed tack and gave the 64 boats and crews a run for their money in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) annual event. Posted on 8 Aug