17th August 2017
This week the Whitsundays celebrates the Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing from 10 - 17 August 2017. Offering six days and seven nights of racing and free live entertainment, the Whitsundays Sailing Club is the perfect spot to view all the action, colour and spectacle of sailing. There is free live music every night, food stalls and some special events including a long late lunch on the lawn and a festival fun run.
First held 28 years ago, Airlie Beach Race Week has grown from humble beginnings to become a major Australian sailing event. One of Australia’s largest yacht racing regattas, Airlie Beach Race Week and its onshore Festival of Sailing is hosted by the Whitsundays Sailing Club and attracts both international entrants and entries from all over Australia.
Located in Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday Sailing Club is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and its , Airlie Beach Race Week event offers a mix of island and buoy races to rest the skills of skippers, navigators and crew. Attracting more than 1,200 competitors, volunteers and officials, the offshore regatta includes classes that range from IRC competitive all the way through to cruising divisions.
However it’s not just on the water where all the fun happens, the onshore Festival of Sailing is one of the region’s most significant public events and presents a week of high profile events, entertainment and social activities. Last year attendance peaked at almost 10,000 and this year is already looking to outdo that figure. The onshore social program of activities includes casual food stalls and wine tasting experiences as well as organised events including the Long, Late Lunch on the Lawn which offered a 5 course menu featuring French inspired cuisine pared with sumptuous Samuel Smith and Sons wine on Saturday 12 August.
Those who weren’t in a food coma after lunch could then participate in the Festival Fun Run from 4pm. Participants can walk, jog or run the one mile course from the sailing club out to the Airlie Beach Lagoon and back again. The festival will wrap up on Thursday 17 August, with food stalls at the sailing club open every night from 5pm to tempt your tastebuds. There is also nightly live entertainment at the sailing club with a cracking line up of entertainers including bands, solo artists and parties.