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National Trailer Boat Championship for Airlie Beach Race Week

By Mark Beale

The Australian Trailer Boat Association has confirmed it will stage a National Championship for the class at the 2016 Airlie Race Week in August and organisers at the Whitsunday Sailing have established a new Division in the Notice of Race to facilitate the event.

Ray Jones from the Association said he had notified Associations Australia-wide last August to ensure a good turn up at Airlie Beach.

“The trick is to get in early before they set their sailing calendars. It also means competitors can plan their holidays around this event. Many will make a two to four week holiday with family and friends. It’s a big undertaking,” Jones said.

Jones won the 2010 Nationals with his Sonata 760 Sports named Katie II – his second Nationals win with his now 30 year-old boat. And he hopes to be on the start line this year.

“The Nationals have given me something to work towards,” said the Wollongong sailor who recently had a large tumour removed from his leg. “I just have to recover in time and I’m looking forward to being there. It would be nice to win a third title – I’m 65 now and heading towards retirement.”

Jones said he expects at least a large contingent from NSW and Victoria will attend. “Quite a few have been before and travel together, taking breaks along the way, sleeping on their boats. That’s the joy of trailable yachts. Mine sleeps six and a few have kitchens and bathrooms. It’s a great way to travel,” Jones said.

“Last time we went to Airlie Beach Race Week we drove straight through – it took us two and a half days. It’s excellent sailing and a really good holiday destination,” ended Jones, who has the perpetual trophy in his garage ready to leave for Airlie Beach.

Denis Thompson, Race Director for the 27th annual Airlie Beach Race Week, commented, “It’s a good thing, because we’ve had a good rise of trailables in last three years, so much so that we have created an extra division for them, so this will consolidate it. It’s good to see the trailables doing Nationals.

“We’ll get some good courses on Pioneer Bay and some Islands races; we can tailor the courses to suit the style of boat and conditions. We are hoping for over 20 boats.

“We appreciate it is a long haul for some of the guys to come from interstate towing their boats, but having sat on their trailers in their yard all winter, the guys actually enjoy the drive to get their boats back in the water at this wonderful tropical and tradewind location of Airlie Beach.”

To add to the experience, WSC is looking at staging a Trailable Boat Show in its extensive grounds, and invites manufacturers, builders and importers to contact Airlie Beach Race Week’s Adrian Bram for further details and information on how to take part.

Plans being put in place for the Festival of Sailing’s program include a ‘Sunset Fun Run’, from Port Airlie to Abell Point, starting and finishing at WSC. Organised by the Whitsunday Running Club, it breaks with the local tradition of morning runs.

Well over 100 people are expected to run and all crews taking part at ABRW are invited and encouraged to join in the run with a “Pirates and Sailors’ dress up theme. With such early notice, no excuses will be accepted.

Entry for Airlie Beach Race Week 2016 is open for the Club’s major sailing event, to be held from 11-18 August.

A variety of sponsorship packages are on offer, including that of a Naming Rights Partner. For further information on these opportunities, or to discuss options, please contact Marketing Manager, Adrian Bram via email:

Entry and Notice of Race now online at:

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