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Family’s push to promote Whitsundays to the world

By Mark Beale

A FAMILY of tenacious local sailors are continuing with their mission to promote dinghy sailing in the Whitsundays and spread the word to the wider sailing world.

Brothers Luke and Tristram Mairs, who own the local charter business ISail Whitsundays have already broadcast the Whitsunday message by becoming naming rights sponsors for the B14 skiff world championships, held in early January on Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay.

Inspired by the success of the tourism promotion by former local racing yacht Merit, the brothers decided to follow suit. Images of Merit’s signature spinnaker ‘I’d Rather be Sailing in the Whitsundays’ gained international attention in the Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht races of 2011 and 2012 and at this January’s world championship the brothers decided to elaborate on what sailing in the Whitsundays was all about.

Their mother and father Jenny and Bill Mairs, former B14 skippers who represented the business at the event, said the overseas competitors and committee were very impressed by videos showing sailing on the waters of beautiful Pioneer Bay and the variety of accommodation and entertainment in Airlie Beach and the surrounds. Mrs Mairs said as a result of the promotion there was great enthusiasm for holding the B14 skiff titles at the Whitsunday Sailing Club when the event returns to Australia in a few years.

Mr and Mrs Mairs were thrilled with the reception received and the interest shown in the region by the competitors.

Mrs Mairs said they were also able to meet with the president of the Laser Association about the possibility of bringing a major international laser event to town.

As part of the Mairs’ ongoing campaign the Whitsunday Sailing Club will host the ‘Sail Airlie Regatta’ over the Easter weekend this year.

The regatta will be the venue for the Queensland Nacra State Titles, the Queensland Arrow State Titles, the North Queensland Laser Titles and a number of mixed dingy classes.

There will be racing for junior classes and a green fleet division for young skippers and crews new to dingy racing.

On Easter Monday there is an exciting event planned for the Lasers with a downwind sail to Montes Resort followed by a barbeque and overnight stay at the resort.

On the next day the fleet will sail to Bowen and arrangements are being made to transport the boats home to Airlie Beach by road.

For more information visit or call Jenny Mairs on 0419 378 517.

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