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Everything you need to know about Airlie Beach Race Week

By Ray White Whitsunday

DESPITE wet weather, boats will set sail today for the first day of racing for Airlie Beach Race Week 2020.

While other sailing regattas have been cancelled, the team at Whitsunday Sailing Club has forged on with an exciting program for sailors and spectators alike.

With 70 boats and about 1500 crew members, the week is set to be action-packed despite coronavirus restrictions.

Here’s everything you need to know before heading out to enjoy the action of Airlie Beach Race Week:

Best vantage points

Whitsunday Sailing Club committee president Leo Rodriguez said the best place to see all the action was on the water.

Sundowner Cruises is offering three-hour race day cruises with ongoing commentary from a veteran yacht racer.

The $89 package includes welcome bubbles and pastries with the cruise boarding at Coral Sea Marina at 8.45am on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Bookings must be made in advance via or by phoning 4948 3000.

Kim Bullpitt, John Ford, Kimbo Taylor, Heather Ford and Juanita and John Matterson enjoy the welcome event at the Whitsunday Sailing Club yesterday.

Mr Rodriguez said for people who preferred to stay on land, the Whitsunday Sailing Club would be the best spot to watch some of the inshore races.

He recommended keen spectators bring a pair of binoculars.

Grab a bite to eat

The Sailing Club is taking reservations for dinner throughout the week in their newly-renovated restaurant 20 Degrees South.

Bookings are essential so email or phone 4946 6138 to make a reservation.

Events to put on the calendar

The typical Whitsunday weather may not be on show, but the starting event today at 11am is set to go ahead.

Spectators can head down to the club at 11am today to view the official start of Race Week where all 70 boats will be out on the water together.

Tickets are also still available for the long lunch this Sunday, August 9.

For $99 a head, guests can enjoy a five-course meal paired with five Australian wines.

Due to COVID regulations numbers are strictly limited and tickets are selling fast, so phone the restaurant on 4946 6138 or email to secure your place.

Liam Harding and Ross Downes are ready for an action-packed week of sailing.

What to expect from the racing

Divisions for 2020 will include IRC passage, AMS passage, performance racing, cruising, non spinnaker, sports boats, multi-hull racing, multi-hull passage, one design and trailable yachts.

AMS has been included for the first time this year to provide an alternative rating system for those boats with AMS certificates.

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And if I want to stay dry?

The wet weather is set to clear up over the weekend, but the results from each day of racing will be updated on the Airlie Beach Race Week website.

Presentations will also be live streamed on the Airlie Beach Race Week Facebook page.

Source: Whitsunday Times

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