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Despite COVID-19 restrictions throughout parts of the country, the 33rd Airlie Beach Race Week is officially going ahead.

10 August 2021


In the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns throughout New South Wales, south east Queensland and Victoria, organisers at the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) have stated that the 33rd Airlie Beach Race Week will begin 12 August with registration.

Earlier reports indicated that a record number of boats would be entering the 2021 edition, the latest estimate being 173. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the actual entries are expected to be roughly half that figure.

“We are committed to giving those who are able to be at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing the best event we can, just as we did last year,” said Event Chairman Ross Chisholm. 

Airlie Beach Race Week was one of the few major Australian regattas able to commence last year.

“The same measures will be taken and restrictions in place to ensure we give our entrants the safe regatta we delivered last year.”


“Our organising committee feels for boat owners, skippers, crews and supporters who were planning to make this a bumper year and who are now unable to attend due to matters outside their control. 

“These people made a substantial commitment to being here, many being forced to miss out for the second year in a row.”

 Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer Tash Wheeler said that, given the ever-changing landscape of restrictions and lockdowns throughout Australia, local support is essential for the region’s economy.

“Events play a significant role in helping to build awareness for The Whitsundays and creating job opportunities across our region,” she said. “Airlie Beach Race Week showcases some of our best assets: community spirit, clear turquoise waters, secluded coves and fringing reefs, highlighting that The Whitsundays is the Heart of Sailing.”

“This is not an event you will want to miss. For all locals with a love for sailing and the open waters make sure you get behind this great event and support local.”

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