Photography by Vampp
12 July 2017
The Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) is in serious preparation mode for its signature event, the Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing.
The club is busy putting the final touches to its much-anticipated onshore activities and entertainment program ahead of the August 10 start date.
Participants will enjoy seven days of sailing across eleven racing divisions and seven nights of free entertainment under marquees at the club’s stunning tropical location. Spectators will also be able to get close to the action on board a Leopard 48 catamaran.
Last year, a record 131 boats from as far-afield as Asia and New Zealand raced, with some competitors flying in from Europe. This year organisers have unveiled an expanded social program, starting with the Long Lunch on the Lawn event.
It proved so successful last year that it is on again, however, this time it will be held on a much larger scale. The lunch takes place on Saturday 12 August from noon and diners will partake of an exquisite French inspired six-course menu.
Also returning are the popular food stalls operated by a range of local caterers to keep hungry competitors and guests appeased after each day of racing in the magical Whitsundays.
Roast rolls, wood fire pizza, club specials and fresh oysters are all on the menu. Race goers can add a $6 beer, wine or mixer from the bar to enjoy with their food. All stalls will be open every afternoon from 3:30pm till late at the Club.
For a more substantial meal, the Club also offers a variety of entrees, mains and desserts.
Organisers have planned seven nights of free live entertainment to follow the nightly presentations. Singer/songwriter Matt Angell will kick Race Week off with his blend of hybrid Blues and Roots music. heavily influenced by the likes of Jack Johnson, John Butler and Xavier Rudd, and will entertain crowds with his smooth-flowing melodies.
The Cadillacs, a 50’s Rock ‘n Roll band, return and will have competitors on their feet with music from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and more on Sunday night. The next night Jan Arns will hit the stage with all classics from the 80’s, 90’s and today.
Lloyd Saunders returns on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday night the soulful, bluesy, funk and rock band, Gypsy Soul, performs.
By popular demand, the Hillbilly Goats will again close the show on Thursday evening, straight after the official presentation.
The social program is open to the public and everyone is welcome to soak up the atmosphere and share in the fun.
On Friday night, ‘Off Da Railz’ will get the event pumping with their brand of old, new, reggae, soul and everything in between. Singer/songwriter Lloyd Saunders will follow on Saturday night.
There will also be great community events such as The Festival Fun Run being held on Saturday August 12. Staged by the Airlie Beach Running Club and proudly supported by WSC, the challenge is to walk, jog or run the single mile, or as many miles as you choose in the one-hour time limit.
For every mile a person runs, the Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing will donate $1.00 to A Mile in THEIR Shoes, which raises awareness of youth suicide prevention.