The Whitsundays came alive in January as the Clipper Race fleet descended into the Coral Sea Marina Resort, Airlie Beach. In conjunction with the fleet arriving into Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays Regional Council hosted the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival, a week long carnival with a number of varying events, showcasing the very best of what the stunning region has to offer.

The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival opened with a spectacular public welcome and prize giving event where the crews were made to feel like local heroes Attended by VIPs from the Whitsundays Regional Council, including Mayor Willcox and Councillor Clifford, crew, supporters and the public were invited down to the Airlie Beach foreshore to join in on an afternoon of celebrations and local food and entertainment, coming to a close with a spectacular fireworks display over the water.

Following the welcome event, the week was alive with activities with the crew making the most of what was on offer. From skydiving to snorkelling, jet skiing to diving, a day trip out to a Crocodile park hosted by Tourism Whitsundays, The Little Ripper Clipper Cup, a sailing challenge put on by the Airlie Beach Sailing Club, or island hopping, the crew and their supporters embraced all of the diverse activities that were on offer to them throughout the week.

The iconic White on Whitehaven lunch party, hosted by the Whitsundays Regional Council and Fish D’vine was a real success and is a must-do event for visitors to the area. In addition to the tourism activities, the Whitsundays Regional Council engaged local businesses in a number of Wine and Dine events, as part of the Clipper Race Carnival which saw Clipper Race Crews attend local restaurants in Airlie Beach to meet and greet with guests at each of the restaurants, to tell their fascinating stories of what life is like on board. Sorrento, The Garden Bar and Bistro, The Gateway Hotel and Fish D’vine all hosted these Wine and Dine events and enjoyed having the crews within their venues to meet and greet with guests from near and far.

The Carnival came to a close with the finale event, the Rodeo by the Reef taking place along Bowen foreshore which our crews and their supporters could enjoy - before departing the spectacular region of the Whitsundays.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said it was great to host the crews and have the yachting world’s spotlight shine on the region for the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival. “The Whitsundays is the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef and the Heart of Sailing so is an ideal location to host a stopover of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race,” he said.

“Hosting the amazing Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival with events around the region has enhanced our reputation as a southern hemisphere mecca for boaties”.