A spotlight on Australia: Airlie Beach, Whitsundays returns as a Host Port on the 2023-24 global race route
18 August 2023
Making its fourth appearance on the global race route, the tropical paradise of Airlie Beach in The Whitsundays will once again welcome the eleven-strong fleet of Clipper Race yachts in January 2024.
Image: Clipper 2019-20 Race fleet arriving at Airlie Beach
The final stop of a trio of Australian Host Port featuring on the event’s circumnavigation, Race Crew will enjoy the crystal-clear waters and breathtaking scenery of The Whitsundays as they rest and unwind before the next leg of the adventure begins.
A stunning collection of 74 islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef makes up the tropical wonder that is the Whitsundays, with Airlie Beach being the gateway to these beautiful islands. While hosted at the Coral Sea Marina Resort, Race Crew will be provided with the perfect base to explore the stunning landscapes of the local area as they take a few days here to unwind and enjoy the many hidden gems.
The azure waters are a magnet for ocean-lovers, with a wealth of diving, snorkelling and watersports on offer on the Great Barrier Reef and the secluded beaches scattered around the islands. However, it’s not all about the ocean- the area is also famous for beautiful tropical rainforest, and you’ll find stunning waterfalls in the Conway National Park which are well worth the hike to find. The Mt Rooper walk is worth your while: hikers will be rewarded with sweeping views across the Whitsunday Islands and beyond.
Joscelyn O'Keefe, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Coral Sea Marina Resort said “Following the positive economic impact of its previous visits, we are delighted to once again be Host Port for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Having the opportunity to further promote our region as a leading sailing destination in the Southern Hemisphere is one which we couldn’t pass up.
“This will be the fourth time the Clipper Race fleet has been welcomed to Coral Sea Marina Resort and the team here are very much looking forward to the buzz the race fleet creates at the marina and throughout Airlie Beach during their stay.
“We will be working closely with the Clipper Race team to find ways to engage the community with the race and make this another memorable stopover for the race crews and their supporters.”
Image: The port at Coral Sea Marina Resort
Clipper Race Director Mark Light said: “The second race of Leg 4 sees the fleet head further north up the Australian East coast to the warmer airs and azure blue waters of The Whitsundays and Airlie Beach. We have visited The Whitsundays on several race editions and our crews will have an incredible time in such a stunning location.”
Airlie Beach is the start port for Leg 5: The Asia-Pacific Challenge. On leaving the Coral Sea Marina Resort, the Clipper Race fleet will race to the iconic Ha Long Bay in Vietnam: a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and stunning destination.