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It’s come down to ‘take no prisoners’

On Water
Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach Race Week
Whitsunday Sailing Club
Published on
August 18, 2022
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Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) reached its penultimate day and a lovely 15-20 knot breeze shook up competitors who had been basking in light conditions all week at the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s marquee event.

Just ask Rohan Veal. The Victorian sailor is skippering Michel Van Der Zwaard’s M32, appropriately named M32 World in Multihull Racing Division 1. Despite pulling out today, he still leads the division on countback to Van Der Zwaard, who is at the helm of his Extreme 40, Angus. Mike Peberdy’s Extreme 40, High Voltage, is third.

“We foolishly didn’t put a reef in,” Veal explained. “We had to motor round to a marina to get the main up. It’s extremely hard to put the main up and to put a reef in. Finally, we got into the lee of Pioneer Rock, but it meant we started 10 minutes late. It’s not my boat, I was concerned, I didn’t want to damage the boat, so we didn’t start.

The crew hadn’t sailed the boat more than five times before this regatta and that includes me.”

On told he was still leading the division, Veal was surprised: “We were happy to get out here, have a bit of fun, we weren’t expecting to win races. I think the Extremes would have beaten us today in these conditions, but we’ll never know…”

The boat is a lightweight, all-carbon, high-performance, one-design multihull.

“It’s an awesome boat. It’s wild because it’s so light. Its righting moment with anchor and engine is just 700 kilos. The boat wants to lift out of the water all the time, even with a reef. It’s a very tricky boat to sail. It’s extremely sensitive to every adjustment, especially upwind.

Division 2 is led by Andrew and Carolyn Stransky and their Olympian daughter, Mara. Fantasia has won at ABRW twice before, so their lead is no surprise. Kay Cee (William Richards) is in second place, on countback to Fantasia. Peter Hackett’s Full Bore holds down third place.

The Multihull Passage division is also in a tied position for first place between two NSW boats. Stephen Leonard’s charter boat, Sea Dragon (NSW), is in the top spot leading into the final day. William Phillips-Web’s Out of the Bag is hot on his heels and taking no prisoners. Marc Gerard’s Storm Bay is maintaining third place.

Performance Racing

Reignition, the MBD 41 owned by Charles Wallis from the host club leads Performance Racing  by three points to Cam Rae’s Barracuda from Geelong in Victoria, which won today’s race. Glenn Burrell’s striking black ‘Black Diamond’ is a further two points away in third place. Tomorrow will be the decider.

“We are just delighted that the boat go’s fast downwind and cuts the corners on the boats with asymmetrical kites,” Wallis said, laughing.

“This is our home ground, so we know the waters fairly well, although we don’t know what’s  going on with the currents often. She’s a good old girl, Reignition, we have taken part in practically every Airlie Beach since it started. I sold the boat and bought it back in Brisbane.”

Trailable Yachts

Skeeter, a Bethwaite 8 design from NSW, has featured in the top three for a few days now in a tough division where all are hot boats. She leads the division from John Rae and Gary Smith’s Vivace and Walter Hogg’s Sardine. There is little between the three, so tomorrow’s race will be the decider.

“It’s very tight, very close racing,” Skeeter’s owner, Sandor Tornai says. “We come up every year – couldn’t come the last two because of Covid. The venue is great, I’ll keep coming up here. We love sailing at Airlie Beach and enjoy the value for money. It’s laid back and we enjoy the banter with the Queensland guys.”

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.

Full results and all information on Airlie Beach Race Week, please visit: www.abrw.com.au

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While south of the border the weather is anything but warm and sunny, competitors at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sails 2019 are being spoilt rotten with warm sunny waters and a light breeze – and more of the same is on the cards for Day 2.
On Water
August 10, 2019

Airlie Beach Race Week: Fun for all on Pioneer Bay

Pioneer Bay provided the perfect opportunity for sailors, photographers and spectators on Day 2 of 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), with Whitsunday Sailing Club officials decreeing all classes sail on the Bay, resulting in a mass of colour around the course.
On Water
August 10, 2019

Family pride on the line at Airlie Beach Race Week

It’s Day 3 at Airlie Beach Race Week and a breeze of up to 15 knots is on the horizon at the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s 2019 event, which plays into the hands of the sports boats where winning is just about winning, it’s all about family pride, with six of the ten entries chockablock with family talent on board.
On Water
August 9, 2019

Airlie Beach Race Week: Light breeze sets the tone in opener

Racing was delayed for a couple of hours, but finally got underway at the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week, with 5 knots starting the day off and the entire fleet headed from Pioneer Bay and up past Double Cone Island, conditions peaking at 12 knots before dying out again.
On Water
July 30, 2019

Nine days to start of Airlie Beach Race Week

Fast forward nine days to 8 August, and it will be on for young and old at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing, Whitsunday Sailing Club’s (WSC) signature event, which continues to bring more tourists to the region than any other major event on the calendar.
On Water
July 26, 2019

100th entry sends Airlie Beach Race Week into ‘Overdrive’

Whitsunday sailor Rupert King is the 100thentrant to the 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week, with his performance cruiser Overdrive. Deciding he was “over” driving, the former truck driver built the Richard Edlin-designed 10.6 metre trimaran after falling in love with her sister ship.
On Water
July 9, 2019

Airlie Beach Race Week: Entries shaping up - prize winner announced

Entries across all classes and division are shaping up well for Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing as the organiser, Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC), announced the winner of the early entries prize draw which offered the full value of the event’s entry fee in food and drink vouchers at the Club.
On Water
June 19, 2019

Change at the helm for Airlie Beach Race Week

The Airlie Beach Race Week organising committee is saddened to report that long time Race Director, Denis Thompson, has withdrawn from this year’s event due to personal health issues.
On Water
June 14, 2019

Warm Northerlies welcome for Airlie Beach Race Week

Whatever direction the wind is blowing on Tuesday, August 13, Northerlies will be the flavour of the month for sailors competing in Airlie Beach Race Week.
On Water
May 14, 2019

Airlie Beach Race Week: Re-match on the cards – prize draw for early entries

TP52 racing by any standard is a thrill to watch, particularly when it involves the current top two Australian players in Ichi Ban and Hooligan, with the two heavyweights of yachting returning to Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing to battle it out for the top spot in IRC Racing again.
On Water
April 6, 2019

First local entry to Airlie Beach Race Week no longer a ‘Mistery’

When Bill Hopton entered his Swarbrick S99 into the 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week, he wasn’t expecting to be the first local in the Festival of Sailing’s fleet.
On Water
March 19, 2019

Australian Multihull Championship slated for Airlie Beach Race Week

Some of the largest and fastest multihulls, both catamarans and trimarans, will descend on Whitsunday Sailing Club’s (WSC) Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing to compete in the 2019 Australian Multihull Championship, to be held from 8-15 August.
On Water
March 4, 2019

Hollywood comes to Airlie Beach Race Week 2019

Entries have opened for Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing 2019, and Ray ‘Hollywood’ Roberts was the first to take advantage, putting his name to paper for the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) hosted Festival of Sailing to be held from 8-15 August.
On Water
August 16, 2018

Another successful Airlie Beach Race Week ends

Whitsunday Sailing Club’s 30th Anniversary Airlie Beach Race Week surpassed expectations – anyone would be hard put to remember better weather at a regatta, accentuated by the variety of winds, courses and the sunny days.
On Water
August 15, 2018

More fabulous conditions forecast for Airlie Beach Race Week

Whoever is in charge up there is certainly favouring Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Airlie Beach Race Week, this week, as Race Director Denis Thompson reports, “more trade winds, but lighter than yesterday – probably in the 15 knot range.”
On Water
August 15, 2018

Somebody up there loves the 30th Airlie Beach Race Week

Day 5 of Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing and conditions during the morning were above and beyond the forecast 15 knots, the wind whipping seas up quickly and crews had to stay on their toes, then winds eased after lunch – another great day in paradise.
On Water
August 14, 2018

Airlie Beach Race Week to serve up windy conditions today

Another day, at the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s 30th Anniversary Airlie Beach Race Week and the wind gods pulling out all stops with a 22-23 knot south-easterly breeze on order – different again to the previous three days of racing.
On Water
August 14, 2018

Trimaran flips at Airlie Beach Race Week – all aboard are fine

Queenslander Dennis Lehany’s Jim Brown 6 metre trimaran, Billy the Kid, flipped while racing in shifty and gusty 25 knot winds at Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing today.
On Water
August 14, 2018

Spills and thrills – Ichi Ban in control at 30th Airlie Beach Race Week

A sports boat limped home under motor after breaking its rudder, while other boats broached in up to 25 knots wind with gusts, their crews finding it difficult to control their rides – all part and parcel of the forecast superb windy conditions that arrived in time for Day 4 of Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing.
On Water
August 12, 2018

Racing delayed as wind gods procrastinate at Airlie Beach Race Week

Could be too much of a good thing in one place and after two great and very different days of sailing at Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Airlie Beach Race Week, Race Director, Denis Thompson, was looking at a weak and fading westerly land breeze and keeping competitors ashore while he monitored the situation.