Offshore Yachting : August September 2008
Race and Regatta Preview Photo: Andrea Francolini 18TH Race Week at Airlie Beach A sports boat in action at Airlie Beach Race Week ‘06. T his August marks the 18th running of the annual Airlie Beach Race Week, with Meridien Marinas continuing their sponsorship and organisers expecting a fleet of up to 120 boats, including more than 30 sports boats. Meridien Marinas Abel Point, the regatta headquarters for Airlie Beach Race Week, has undertaken a major landscaping of the environs of the marina and surrounds in time for this year’s regatta, which runs from August 14-21. There has also been some limited dredging at the marina to help boats with deep draft. The competitor’s marquee will be located alongside the administration building, looking out over the marina. “We are anticipating another great fleet will line up for racing on Pioneer Bay”, says race director Denis Thompson. “Last year, we expanded the course to take the fleet to new areas of the Whitsunday Islands, and we’re doing the same this year.” Sports boats head the list of entries for the six divisions, competing under the new Sports Measurement System (SMS – see our feature on page 56). Entries include boats from Queensland, New South, Victoria and Western Australia and include Melges 24s, Thompson 8s, Stealth 8s and Elliott 7.8s. The IRC Racing division is shaping up as a contest between top racing yachts from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand. Early entries included Flirt, Chris Dare’s latest Corby IRC 49 from Melbourne, Bernie Van’t Hof’s Swan 45 Tulip and Ray Roberts’ Cookson 50 Quantum Racing, both from Sydney, and Queenslanders’ Graham Jones’ Beneteau First 45 Bluewater and Russell McCart’s Farr 40 Night Nurse. The two New Zealand contenders are the Cookson 50 Pussy Galore (Anatole Masfen) and the Bakewell White 52 Wired (Rob Bassett). 36 | offshore The other divisions are Premier Cruising, Performance Racing, Cruising and Non-Spinnaker. –Peter Campbell Spots still available for Lord Howe Race Participation in the annual Hempel Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race is strictly limited but a few slots for smaller craft are still available for this year’s event. The 414 nautical mile dash into the Tasman starts in Broken Bay on October 25. Moorings in the Lord Howe Island lagoon for deep-draft yachts are already over-subscribed, but some places remain for boats that draw 2.2 metres or less. “We’re very keen to have a full fleet again this year and would be pleased to hear from any skipper interested in joining the event”, says race director, Mark Greenwood. “There’s still plenty of time to prepare a yacht for the passage and well- priced accommodation on the Island is available. All the details are on our website and I’m happy to respond to any enquiries personally.” Among the entries confirmed so far is the legendary Tasman Seabird Maris. Previously owned by solo circumnavigator and ‘Clean Up Australia’ founder Ian Kiernan, the classic Alan Payne yawl is now campaigned by a partnership including Island identity John Green. Maris will battle for handicap honours alongside rivals Polaris of Belmont, Inner Circle and Time Out. The deep-draft fleet includes such Gosford Lord Howe Race stalwarts as Kioni, Getaway Sailing, Occasional Coarse Language and Pacha. They’ll be challenged by first-time entry More Witchcraft, the slick Dibley 46. Mark Greenwood has also confirmed that Hempel Yacht Paints have signed a three-year deal to sponsor the race until 2010.
June July 2008
October November 2008