Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sailing Season in the Whitsundays


Australia's aquatic playground is gearing up for its annual 'Sailing Season', where sails and spinnakers dominate the horizon by day, and champagne corks and good times dominate by night.

Nestled in the heart of the spectacular Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland coast is the Whitsundays. Blessed with great, protected stretches of sparkling azure water dotted with 74 tropical islands, sandy beaches, coral gardens and a mainland coastline full of life, the Whitsundays is the quintessential definition of a 'sailor's paradise'.

The Whitsundays offers the best choice for a sailing or cruising holiday for two simple reasons - the islands provide protection from the elements and each of islands offers an array of secluded anchorages from which to experience the true serenity that only a sailing holiday can bring.

With the largest range of fully catered and crewed or sail yourself holiday options in the Southern Hemisphere, there is a holiday experience to meet everyone's sailing ability.

A must do in any novice or expert sailor's book, the Whitsundays is suitable for sailing year round. But if the locals are anything to go by, it seems August through October is the peak time for sailing, as multiple racing events dawn on the Whitsundays.

Volunteer as crew, jump on a spectator boat, or just enjoy the atmosphere as Meridien Marina's Airlie Beach Race Week kicks off the racing (13th – 20th August 2009), closely followed by the region's premier event, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (21st – 29th August 2009) showcasing some of Australia's finest racing yachts.

Airlie Beach again takes over as host to the Multihull Solutions Multihull Rendezvous (29th August – 4th September) and then the celebrations culminate with the Great Whitsunday Fun Race (12th September) also held off Airlie Beach.

The Whitsundays sailing and racing showcase is a must for any would-be or experienced sailor or party animal with a range of options for joining racing crews, spectating on water or land, or just attending the social events, The racing also coincides with whale season, so the spectating could really get exciting!

Humpback Whales making their annual migration up the Queensland Coast stop off in the Whitsundays to give birth to their calves between May to September. Those out on the water, the islands, or even just sitting in a café by the beach are regularly indulged by excited young calves and their mothers breaching out of the water, playing around boats and with each other, and majestically gliding through the waters of the Whitsundays.

Each of the sailing regattas have varied, rich histories, so the days are sure to be full of entertainment, competition and fun in the Whitsundays throughout Sailing Season.

For more information on sailing holidays to the Whitsundays, go to www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au For more information on the various sailing regattas, go to:

Meridien Marina's Airlie Beach Race Week – www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au Audi Hamilton Island Race Week – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au Multihull Solutions Multihull Rendezvous – www.apyc.yachting.org.au Great Whitsunday Fun Race – www.whitsundaysailingclub.com.au/content/fun-race


The Whitsundays region consists of 74 islands located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland mainland from Bowen in the north, to Laguna Quays in the south, and inland to Proserpine.

By air the region is 1.5hrs from Cairns or Brisbane and 2 hours from Sydney. Visitors can enjoy a diverse range of activities including water sports, bushwalking and golf.

A range of accommodation from budget backpacker, to B&Bs, through to luxury resorts exists for visitors to the destination, as well as the largest range of fully catered and crewed or sail yourself holiday options in the Southern Hemisphere.