Airlie Beach Race Week 2016 entries far exceed those of last year, according to Denis Thompson, Race Director for the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosted regatta to be held from 11-18 August.
Already 38 boat owners representing a broad cross-section of classes have entered, more than double those entered at this time last year. And it is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Thompson.
“We are targeting around 130 entries and already have 10 percent of that. It’s encouraging to see so many early on,” said Thompson, four months out from the 27th running of Airlie Beach Race Week.
“The rationale is that we are way ahead of the game this year with the Notice of Race and online entry system up and running months in advance of previous years,” Thompson said. “And the success of last year’s ‘Festival of Sailing’ has energised competitor interest too.”
Cruisers boast the highest entry to-date. Despite enjoying the more laidback style of racing around the islands in the Whitsunday group, enjoying the pleasure of taking in the breathtaking scenery and sea life, the cruising fraternity is always quick off the blocks when entries open.
So far, entries span Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia, with others also expected from the ACT and Western Australia.
Making sure everyone is in ‘the know’, an Airlie Beach Race Week poster depicting the racing schedule and social program will be distributed to 70 sailing clubs across Australia and New Zealand. It will further encourage entries and competitors’ family and friends to join the action and excitement in 2016.
“We are looking forward to making a major announcement shortly,” Airlie Beach Race Week chairman, Tim Parker commented today.
“Sponsorship is shaping up nicely. Past sponsors Tourism & Events Queensland, Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurances, Whitsunday Regional Council and At Hotels Group have resigned and increased their support,” he said.
In the meantime, radio stations 4MK and Zink FM have also signed on as Gold level media partners for 2016, which will help spread the word in Queensland prior to and during the event.
Parker said the onshore program, inclusive of an outrigger challenge, long lunch, wine show, a Festival fun run and live entertainment, was coming to fruition.
“We are very excited about the improved look for the onshore festivities, including a music line-up suited to those who attend Airlie Beach Race Week each year,” Parker ended.
Entry for Airlie Beach Race Week 2016 closes at 2400 hours on Friday, 5 August, 2016. The race committee may accept late entries after this date subject to an additional late fee.
Entry and Notice of Race online at: www.abrw.com.au/sailing/entries
– Di Pearson, ABRW media