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Light winds expected on day 2 of Airlie Beach Race Week

by Di Pearson / ABRW 12 Aug 2023 01:10 UTC 10-17 August 2023

Day 2 at Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) and the 152 entries lined up on Pioneer Bay for the first starts at 10am on another blue skied sunny day with a light breeze of 10 knots expected on the various course areas today.

To speed up the start process, which usually takes an hour, some class divisions started together rather than at five minute intervals, an initiative of Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) to make the best of a light air day.

Some of those that finished on the podium in gusty winds up to 18 knots on Day 1, do not expect to do as well today in the 'light stuff'. Among them are Grant Ford, owner of Fordplay. Ford won the Non-Spinnaker race with his Elan 434 yesterday and proclaims light air is not his boat's thing.

"We got lucky yesterday anyway. It was problematic for us because we tore our carbon no. 1 heady during the race. It was awesome out there. Coming home to the finish, we were close with some of our rivals, so it was a good ride to the finish," Ford said.

"Possibly not so good for us in the lighter breeze - especially without our no. 1, which is in for repair now. The boat is much better in a bit of breeze, but we'll be trying hard again," he admitted.

In the F16/F18 class, Goodall Design (Emma Rankin/skipper) from NSW, described by rivals as "world class", leads that series from fellow RPAYC member, Ruel Rigging Australia (Nicholas Reader, skipper). In third are Rob Saunders and Riley McNee with Stayin' Alive. (ACT).

Saunders, from Canberra Yacht Club, is thrilled with their third place yesterday, explaining: "we are the most inexperienced in this fleet. I brought the boat when I was 56 and I'm 58 now. This sort of sailing keeps you fit.

"We're rapt with our third place. We had an absolute blast yesterday. The weather was perfect, we got a good start and it was fantastic looking back at a mass of big boats behind us, especially in the gusty winds," he said, describing the mass start.

"We were sitting on a consistent 18 knots down the run and match racing others across to Black Point and then the final beat to the finish, so we're pretty happy with that," Saunders said.

"What a great place to sail; it's our first time here. Beautiful water, weather, bands and everything. It's magic and everyone in our class is so friendly and helpful. Rivals on the water, friends off! We'll be encouraging others to come up here next year."

A stunning early morning set the scene for the beautiful day to come, as evidenced in the photos.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.

For full results in all classes, please visit: abrw.com.au.

*Please note all results are provisional pending protests and other anomalies.

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