While temperatures around the country soar, the Whitsundays are heating up for the world's most wondrous sailing event - the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The countdown is on for the fantastic Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival and the 70-foot ocean-going yachts who are the stars of the show are already on their way, sailing up Australia's east coast as part of the Wondrous Whitsundays Race.
The 12 identical yachts along with their skippers, international crew, families and supporters will begin arriving in Airlie Beach on Saturday 13 January to kick off the festivities. No doubt they will all be looking forward to a well-deserved rest and relaxing Whitsundays holiday to enjoy the two-week sailing event of the Clipper Race Carnival.
The only race of its kind in the world, the Clipper Round the World Yacht pairs experienced skippers with novice crews for an incredible adventure. Crew members come from all around the world and can choose to take part in a single leg of the race of take the trip of a lifetime and take part in every leg of the 11-month race literally around the world.
The Australian leg is one of the toughest of the race, with crews having already completed a gruelling course from Fremantle to Sydney, backed up by the famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and then Whitsundays sailing. Thankfully, the stopover in the Whitsundays is the last stop of the Australian leg of the race and is also the longest of the 40,000 nautical mile race.
The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival will run 13-29 January and offers a raft of free events including tours of the yachts, the opportunity to meet the crew and public talks by the skippers as well as a free Welcome Party, Whitehaven Long Lunch, Progressive Cruise Lunch and much more.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the carnival is for everyone and has urged visitors to get involved.