Airlie Beach Race Week - Multihull march begins as entries trickle in

Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 multihull cruising entry, Drumbeat.
Jan Torres
Now that the Multihull Brisbane to Gladstone Race has concluded, multihull owners are starting to focus on their plans for the northern winter including the 25th anniversary Airlie race week.

This year’s Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week, being conducted by Whitsunday Sailing Club from the eighth-15th August, will include OMR Racing and Multihull Cruising divisions.

The 62 foot Drumbeat will be one of the biggest entries for the 25th Airlie Beach Race Week.
Wayne Jones
The first trickle of entries has started, but Vice Commodore of the Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland, Mike Hodges, assures the event organisers this is only the soft start to an expected flood for this year’s celebratory event. 'There will plenty of multihull entries up there, but they probably won’t enter the regatta until at least the month before. That is pretty normal.

'The most multihulls we have had up north at Airlie was last year for the Multihull National Championships. I don’t think you will get many more than that. Most of those boats aren’t ocean racers, but rather trailables and regatta boats. Everyone had such a good time in Airlie the last couple of years, so I think there will be a good roll-up this year.'

The first Multihull Cruising Division entry in is from event sponsor, Vision Surveys’ Brian Forrester. It’s been a while since Forrester raced his 62-foot Drumbeat, preferring to cruise the boat single-handed. 'I raced it in the Multihull Rendezvous probably about four years ago.

'I quite enjoy the racing, but I am too busy most of the time to be able to get fully into it and get a crew organised', he said.

He has one crew lined up and hopes to have time over the coming months to compete in the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Wednesday afternoon twilight races where he will able to recruit a few more crew and do some crew training.

'I have one crew member, my good friend Geoff Wilson. I need about three or four others. I usually sail single-handed so I am going to have to learn to share,' he quipped.

Forrester is looking forward to the fun side of the event rather than the competitive side. With the boat remaining in cruising mode and the coffee machine firmly ensconced in the galley, he doesn’t expect to be winning any race honours. He might off-load one or two heavy items, but the fridge and freeze, washing machine and the coffee machine are not going anywhere.

The Notice of Race and the online entry for the nine divisions is here Entries close Friday 1st August 2014.