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Festival twist for race week

By Mark Beale

THIS year’s Airlie Beach Race Week is set to be more community focused than its predecessors, with a new tagline the Tropical Festival of Sailing.

Airlie Beach Race Week committee chairman Jim Hayes said this was a development on previous race weeks, tying in with the concept of a festival of sailing in the Whitsundays and embracing some of the other events held in August.

“We’ll have no restriction on admission to after-racing activities at the sailing club, we’ll have live music every night and a variety of quality food at great prices, ranging from seafood and tapas to pizzas and hamburgers,” he said.

Mr Hayes said a number of external businesses were already on board to support this idea, including Fish D’Vine for seafood and Barcelona for tapas.

“And, of course, there’s the sailing club’s excellent food available as well,” he said.

This year’s regatta will be all about the number seven – with seven days of racing, seven divisions of sailing and seven solid nights of entertainment. Mr Hayes said competitors would range from IRC racing yachts to trailer sailers and multihulls, and he once again reiterated the event’s community benefits.

“Basically, we want the whole town to be involved in race week and for individuals and businesses to be active participants in its benefits,” he said.

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