The Hogs Breath Race Week regatta held in the depths of the Australian winter provides T-shirt and shorts sailing conditions in the tropical Whitsundays, from August 11-18.
Sailors from Melbourne and Sydney spend the early winter months planning for their trip north. It's becoming increasing popular with cheaper and cheaper airline tickets allowing early escapes from the last gasp of winter. Not a hard decision if you spend a few days in May and June comparing the daily temperature variances between the southern cities and Airlie Beach.
But if you are way, way down south, it's even easier.
A sailor, who is currently preparing to return to Australia after spending this summer at the Australian Mawson in Antarctica base with temperatures of minus 30, last week rang the Whitsunday Sailing Club on a satellite phone, keen to complete his Hogs Breath 2005 entry application.
He has been dreaming of palm trees and the Airlie Beach Lagoon; his cruising division entry will have to wait until his return to Australia, to check on his boat info, but meanwhile it does give him an excuse to wear a tropical T-shirt around Mawson Base.
The regatta continues to grow. Last year the monohull fleet exceeded 100 boats and the 2005 online entries are already flooding in much faster than ever before.
The IRC division is expected to be especially strong this year, with many of the strongest campaigners planning to race at Hogs Breath Race Week, before the Hamilton Island Regatta. (The Hayman Regatta will not run this year, as the Resort is hosting a major convention.)
Phil COOMBS' hot new DK46 Dekadence
, will be on the Hogs Breath start line racing for the first time against Richard CAWSE's Vanguard
, the fast Lyons Cawse 60.
Cawse has signalled his intentions are very serious. Vanguard is the only conventionally ballasted boat to beat the new Wild
Oats on handicap, and she also beat Wild Joe
across the line in the 2005 Strathfield Pittwater Coffs race. Gladstone's new Mumm 30 Immigrant
will bookend the division from the smaller side.
Early entries indicate The Premier Cruising Division is clearly going to be very strong with Don ALGIE's 66 foot Storm II
along with the MBD Pacific 50 Magic Carpet
and Dr Ian NICHOLSON's brand new Dubois 80 footer Intrigue
Additionally, 35-40 Formula 18 Catamarans will be competing in their Australian Championships. They will be launching off the beach at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and sailing close by on Pioneer Bay, then after racing, coming round to the Abel Point Marina to join in the fun.
While its still four and a half months until the start of Race Week, the event is enjoying considerable growth in popularity, with its attractive mainland tropical location and casual relaxed fun atmosphere not forgetting the serious racing on great water.
Airlie Beach tourism operators say that Hogs Breath Race Week produces the highest accommodation demand in this ever-growing tourist destination. As Event Founder and Patron Don ALGIE reminds us, 'Please don't delay in getting your accommodation booked in the Airlie Beach area as soon as possible.'
There are lots of accommodation choices but they are filling up fast.
Go to the event website, find the 'accommodation partners' tab and check out the details of accommodation partners for the event. Photos are provided for further reference.
The Notice of Race, for both the monohull and catamaran classes, is available now on the event website via the link below.
and online entries can be completed there.