Vote Fun Airlie Beach Race Week
I remember one day spying a beautiful yacht in Shute Harbour. What drew my attention was the shape of a perfect clipper bow.
I later met the owner of 55-foot Storm, Don Algie and found that he had already had quite a chequered career and was destined to draught a few more checkers to the board.
One idea Don had was to start a restaurant the other a bit later was to start a sailing series in Airlie Beach.
Hamilton Island Race Week had been going for a few years with the leadership of Keith Williams and Dave Hutchen and their team building 'Hammo' into a serious series attracting the top yachts.
The Airlie race week titled Hog's Breath Cruising classic was meant to be a bit more irreverent and to feature shirtsleeve sailing and onshore fun with reggae and calypso bands and the music of Jimmy Buffet.
Don and sidekick Miles Wood and the crew at the Whitsunday Sailing club and in the early days after a long planning session at the club we would go down to Don's first Hog's Breath Café in Airlie and continue the plotting and planning over many beers and rums. Don was the type of guy and sponsor who would leave and say, "Drink as much draft beer as you want and close the door when you leave."
Those were the days, and that was the atmosphere of "infectious enthusiasm" that prevailed in Airlie Beach when we started race week.
Over the last 21 years, the Airlie Race Week has developed, fended off competing series like Hayman Island Big Boat series, matured, changed sponsors and generally become the tune up and play up week before the fleet heads to Hamilton Island.
Don sold the original Storm and had the 20-metre Storm II built for about two million or so and is still a competitor to be reckoned with in the Whitsunday waters he now calls home.
So while there are many others who have worked so hard over the last twenty-one years, it could not have happened without all the fabulous volunteers, to achieve success for this regatta in many ways it is Don's party
Without the volunteers, these events would not exist let alone prosper for the good of sailing and our community. Sure, there are professionals who get payment. But, a vast amount of work is done by volunteers and we should give them our gratitude and a few beers. Perhaps a rum or two and a hug and kiss would be better than the traditional pat on the back.
Middle Island, Percy Isles
Mariners are advised that the tide gauge and Fl Y 3s light temporarily established off the western side of Middle Island in the Percy Isles be withdrawn. AUS charts 822 & 823
Mariners are advised that the safe water mark buoy located at the Yongala wreck site, in position latitude 19° 18.2077' S, longitude 147° 37.2472' E, has been re-established. AUS charts 371 & 820
Fair winds to Ye!