Once again the Whitsunday Sailing Club will be host to the Tropical Rentals Whitsunday Sail Airlie Regatta over the Easter period. With upward of 60 off the beach dinghies competing, the event should put on a spectacular show on the waters to the north of the sailing club.
Open to all age groups, the fleet will use 3 separate course areas, matching boats of similar design or performance in up to 10 races over the three days of racing. The senior classes, including the exciting A-Class catamarans, Lasers and Tasars will be competing in the seaward course area. Competitors ranging from Brisbane to Cairns, and ranging in ages from 16 to 65 will be battling it out on the outer course.
The Junior fleets, Optimists, Sabots and O’pen Skiffs will be competing on the next course area. Here we have up and coming sailors travelling all the way from the Gold Coast to compete in this category, along with sailors from Bowen, Townsville, Mackay and the Whitsundays. The competition in these fleets will be intense, as bragging rights come into play in these age groups.
The event will also include a green fleet, made up of those just starting out on their sailing career. Children as young as 7 will be challenged to complete the courses located directly outside the club. These kids use an introductory set of rules which simplifies the expectations, while the aim is to just give it a go.
Whitsunday Sailing Club sailing manager, Ross Chisholm, thinks the mix of competitors this year is excellent. “It is great to see 23 up and coming sailors in the green fleet from all over the state here for the second largest sailing event on the Whitsunday Sailing Club calendar. This demonstrates that sailing truly is a great sport for the whole family, where you often see mum & dad sailing in the senior classes while the kids are racing against their peers.”
The racing program starts on Saturday afternoon, and continues with morning and afternoon sessions on Sunday before concluding on Monday, with early afternoon presentations before competitors head home.