The Great Whitsunday Fun Race (2012)

Event Details

  • Sat 18 Aug 2012, 1:00pm
Whitsunday Sailing Club, Airlie Point


What started as a bet for a bottle of rum in 1977, has become one of the iconic sailing events in Australia. When Torres Herald and Dalhia set off across Pioneer Bay in 1977 for a grudge race, little did they realise they had begun a tradition that is still going.

The race is a large triangle course in the bay, but it so much more than a race. Due to the antics between Torres Herald and Dahlia on that first race, it is now part of the day to dress up boats and crews and have a Miss Figurehead on the bow at the finish.

With 10 different divisions, serious racers and casual cruisers can all participate in this fun filled afternoon, and once the race is done, be ready for the traditional water fights that occur between the boats. 

Sailors taking part in fun race in fancy dress - a great Whitsunday tradition!

Prizes, hilarity, and the most useless trophey ever

Presentations are awarded for top three in each division, best dressed boat, best dressed crew, boat from furthest away, and of course first overall - who wins what has been affectionately dubbed 'the most usless trophy ever presented' - an empty bottle of rum!

The fun continues into the night

The race is just the start of the day, with a huge party on the grounds of the Sailing Club following the fun on the water. Live music plays all night and the atmosphere is charged as sailors, locals and visitors all enjoy the night's entertainment - especially the Mr Six Pack and Miss Figurehead competitions as the night progresses.

This year we're going Pirate themed from 6pm as the Fun Race winds up and the Great Whitsunday Pirate Party begins! Check out our Great Whitsunday Pirate Party Page for more details.

The Great Whitsunday Pirate Party >>

For Yacht Owners: How to Enter

To take part in this great Whitsunday tradition we call "Fun Race", you can simply pop into the club and fill in an entry form - or you can download, print and fill out the form from home using the links on this page under "Downloads".

If you would like to form a team entry with two other boats from your sailing club, or geographical region then in addition to each boat filling out an individual entry form, you may also complete a team nomination form with details of the three boats. There's a teams trophy for the team with the best places (lowest points total).

We've also made the course map available from this page (also under "Downloads") for the benefit of racers and those who would like to take their boat into the spectator area for a close up view of the action.