The Concept Tiles 2009 Easter Regatta, hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club was a huge success for off-beach Sailors with the final number of boats reaching 65. Among this number were 24 Junior Boats competing off the new beach at the Port of Airlie and 19 Tasars competing in the Voice2net Telecom Queensland State Titles on Pioneer Bay.
The weekend’s weather was quite a mix - starting off with a few showers and gusty winds on Friday. The organizers were concerned that the weather may keep a few boats away - but many of the hardy crews and supporters had traveled from as far away as the Atherton Tablelands and Bundaberg, so all were keen to enjoy themselves regardless of the weather.
Rescue crews were kept busy on both Saturday and Sunday mornings with only 36 of the 65 entrants completing the morning race. The rest either turned back or were towed back to shore.
The Sunday afternoon conditions were much more favorable with moderate 15 to 18 knot southeasters. Everyone was particularly happy to see the sun make an appearance in what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon for sailing.
Off the water, the Osbourne family (Tim, Maize, Storm, Ruby and Rose) with the help of Whitsunday Sailing Cub chef Allan Tate did a brilliant job of feeding over 120 people breakfast, lunch and dinner over the three days. Sunday dinner saw hungry competitors and their families devour a delicious spit-roasted pig in record time.
There were live bands every night and a lot of onshore fun capping off a great on-water event. Not a single racing protest reached the protest room - an indication of the fun and good-spirited atmosphere of competition.
The organizing committee, consisting of; Jaymie Worrell, Ross McMullen, Jim Hayes, Dale Mitchell and Terry Archer put in countless hours in a first-rate effort, which was greatly appreciated by the Whitsunday Sailing Club executive committee.
The success of this regatta surely cements Whitsunday Sailing Club as a leader in off-beach sailing to match the position of the club in off-shore sailing. Premier annual events, such as Meridian Airlie Beach Race Week and the Great Whitsunday Fun Race now have an off-beach equivalent in the Easter Regatta.
The overwhelming attendance success was put down to the regular email communications and Website, thanks to the great work by Daniel Scott of Resolv.
The club would like to thank all of the sponsors for their support, starting with Concept Tiles and Voice2Net Telecom as naming rights sponsors. We also thank Storage World, Home Hardware, Cruise Whitsundays, Burnups Furniture Court, Quadrant Marine, Marlin Marine, Rick Rose Marine and Whitsunday Marine Management for their support with funding and prizes. Special thanks also go to Tony Logan of Waterline on Shingley for his support with furniture and refrigeration.
Last, but certainly not least, the Whitsunday Sailing Club would like to thank all of the competitors for making the trip to Airlie Beach this Easter. It was a pleasure hosting the event and we hope to see you all back in Airlie Beach soon.
The next Big event for the off beach contingent of the Whitsunday Sailing Club will be the Spring Regatta on the 26th and 27th of September this year, but between now and then, our sailors will be off to the other North Queensland events.
See you all soon
Rear Commodore Off-Beach, Whitsunday Sailing Club