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um, go time?

Well, we all know Aussies are fucking crazy, so in that vein, this makes perfect sense!

As Coronavirus restrictions continue to ease around Australia, Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) is pleased to announce it is full steam ahead for Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing.

To be held from 6-13 August, the annual event will be held on a smaller scale. “If borders open, we are targeting around 80 entries,” Adrian Bram said. “At this moment we have 51 entries, which is comparable to previous years.”

Suffering the ill-effects of cabin fever caused by the pandemic, not to mention the cold weather inflicted on those who live south and south-west of the Queensland border, owners are keen to break out and leave town for the beautiful Whitsundays.

Opening borders is in the hands of the individual state governments, but that hasn’t stopped interstate hopefuls from entering. Among the early interest is Gweilo, a TP52 owned by Matt Donald and Chris Townsend. The NSW yacht finished second overall to Ichi Ban in the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Unsurprisingly, Victorians exceed the rest of the states in terms of numbers. Cold weather at home is driving them north. In the Rating Passage division alone, Rob Date’s Scarlet Runner II, Gerry Cantwell’s Carrera S and David Currie’s Ponyo are ready and waiting.

Should the borders remain closed, Bram says the event will nevertheless go ahead: “In that case, Airlie Beach Race Week will return to its roots,” he said, meaning it will be an all- Queensland regatta. More here.

Pic by Andrea Francolini.