by Ian Grant
Whitsunday Sailing Club reached a major milestone when the friendly club celebrated 40 years of actively promoting the sport of dinghy and offshore racing off Airlie Beach, Queensland.
IDLE TIME CROSSES LORNA ROSE - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2010
Last weekend’s festivities highlighted by an invitation only dinner to celebrate the fortieth anniversary set the format where Club President Ian Davey, Commodore Kevin Fogarty and long term life member Jim Hayes modestly showed an element of well deserved personal pride.
Ian Davey and Jim Hayes remember the times when the Club had no official residence but they always remained confident of hoisting the now well known WSC Burgee to the masthead.
They were among the early members who progressively laid the foundation for the Whitsunday Sailing Club first founded with enormous enthusiasm under the tropical sun in 1971 to now have one of the most successful sailing and national accredited training facilities in Australia.
Sure it was a tough slog but the pier management group including those who are in office today deserves to be proud of the contribution that the WSC has made to the community of Airlie Beach during the past 40 years.
Airlie Beach, Pioneer Bay and the magnificent Whitsunday Islands is a yachting paradise equally enjoyed by casual cruising sailors and the far more serious one-design dinghy, catamaran and offshore racing crews.
In 1998 the WSC gained international recognition when they hosted the enormously successful Hog’s Breath Hobie 16 catamaran World Championship.
The international crews were impressed with the normal family friendly attitude expressed by members and staff of the WSC and Airlie Beach community.
They realise the importance that goes with laying down the welcome mat and this has become a significant factor behind the success of the Airlie Beach Race Week regatta which celebrated its 21st anniversary last August.