There is only one week left before entries close for this year’s Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week being held from ninth to 16th August.
Mooloolaba’s Gary McCarthy driving IRC Racing entry Brilliant Pearl - Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week 2013
The numbers are likely to tip over the 100 according to Whitsunday Sailing Club sailing development manager, Tim Parker. 'I am sure there will be at least another six or seven local boats, plus a few more from nearby clubs. I would say another 12 to 15 boats is my tip.
'I am a little disappointed the numbers are down slightly from last year, but with the economy the way it is and with uncertainty over the election process and date, I am actually not surprised. It appears a lot of people just aren’t game to leave work for a week or two.
'I am still hoping we can match last year’s numbers.'
The latest boat to enter is Harold Menelaus’s Treasure VIII back for another tilt at the IRC Racing title. The carbon-fibre Reichel Pugh 36 footer from McConaghy’s yard, is not the sort of boat that normally resides in Airlie Beach. Parker explained, 'Harold is retired here and he still wanted to have a really cool boat, hence the RP36'.
Airlie Beach's Harold Menelaus and his RP36 Treasure VIII will be out on track again - Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week 2013
In the racing fleet there are 20 entries across the three divisions. The IRC Racing division received a boost earlier this week with Daryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire moving from IRC Cruising into IRC Racing. 'It’s more appropriate that we compete with the boats of similar performance level,' Hodgkinson explained.
This year the strongest division is a toss-up between the Cruising entries versus the Multihull national championship fleet. Both are showing strong entry numbers so the competition is on to see which division can out do the other.
On the water the volunteer team will be led by International Race Officer Ross Chisholm. Working alongside Chisholm will be Ross Wilson, Kevin Wilson and Protest Committee Chair Mark Gallagher.
'In the team we have four IROs as well as about three NROs. Everyone one on the volunteer team has done race weeks before. The calibre of the team is just brilliant,' Parker said.
For event information and online entry, go http://airlieraceweek.com