High achieving athletes set to race with family trio at Airlie Beach Race Week

Father and son duo, Joe and Thomas Goddard, will join over 160 new and regular entries from Australia wide, New Caledonia and New Zealand, when the start gun is fired on Friday, signalling the first day of racing at 2023 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW).

The Goddards will arrive from Sydney with Blue Moon, a Beneteau First 40.7 owned by Joe, a veteran yachtsman of many ocean racing miles, including 12 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races and a well-known figure around the Sydney waterfront.

However, it is 26-year-old son, Thomas, who will skipper the yacht in the Performance Cruising division against the largest and most eclectic fleet at the regatta, some of which are past winners.

The Goddards and their elite crew can’t wait to contest Whitsunday Sailing Club’s (WSC) 35th running of the annual event, their maiden attempt at this popular regatta.

The attraction for Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing, says Joe, “It’s ours and Blue Moon’s first time.” By ‘ours’ he means himself, Thomas and his other son, 30-year-old Michael.

“We know too, that the regatta is popular among a lot of similar performance cruiser/racers and the location is amazing!”

There is more to this crew than a father and two sons. Blue Moon’s crew consists of a full beginner collection of millennials with zero sailing experience and high achieving athletes who are first timers to the yacht racing scene. From the crew of eight, six are millennials of which four are sailing for the first time.

Notable athletes on board Modern Pentathlon Tokyo Olympian, Marina Carrier (26 years-old), world championship rower Dyone Bettega (25) and Australian National level swimmer Thomas Goddard.

“The young athletes and beginner crew are excited about racing on the Beneteau First 40.7 and learning the art of sailing in the beautiful coral waters of the Whitsundays,” Joe says.

Blue Moon is just the right vessel for the job. She is part of the Salty Boat Hire charter organisation that Joe and Thomas Goddard own and run. The company operates yacht charters out of Sydney Harbour and also conducts yachting adventure trips along the coast to the Whitsundays.

At ABRW, the Goddards will race in one of the 10 classes broken into even more divisions. IRC/ORCi racing yachts, Trailables, Performance Racing and Performance Cruising boats will share start lines and courses with a multitude of multihulls split into F16/F18s, Weta trimarans, Multihull Racing and Multihull Passage groups for a week of spectacular sailing.

A spectacular mass start by all competitors will open ABRW on Friday. The event offers a mix of windward/leeward races on Pioneer Bay and passage races around some of the most beautiful islands and scenery in the world is what competitors have to look forward to.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

For all information, including entry, please visit: www.abrw.com.au

By Di Pearson/ABRW media

Follow the action on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AirlieBeachRaceWeek

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