If you are lucky enough to be attending the Mackay Airport Beach Horse Races then you are in for some fantastic fun in the sun! The “Caneland Fashions on the Sand” component of the day will be hotly contested but this is no regular Fashions on the Field competition so take note! Bring your fashion A-game but don’t forget to dress with the beach and Mackay climate in mind.

Starting in this year The Mackay Airport Beach Horse Races has introduced a prize opportunity for winners of Fashions on the Field at Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns and Burdekin to be flown into The Mackay Airport Beach Horse Races to compete in the Caneland Central Fashions on the Sand competition. First Prize for 2017 Caneland Central Fashions on the Sand 18+ category is a trip for two to Flemington Race Course for Melbourne Cup 2017, including Flights and accommodation!  All other prizes are yet to be confirmed.

The guest judges Milano Imai, Stacey Galeano and Laura Hall from Phylli Designs know their fashion, so be sure take note of current fashion trends and let your personality shine through!

beach races
Image: Andrew Cliff

If you plan on entering Fashions on the Sand then it’s important to know that the judging criteria looks very similar to most regular FOTF competitions with some slight differences ….

Given the Mackay climate and the nature of the event, usual spring racing codes of attire should be followed by both Ladies and Gentlemen with the variations set out below. The panel of judges will base their votes on the following criteria:

  • Style and originality.
  • Appropriateness of the outfit for Beach Races Fashions on the Sand and the individual.
  • Attention to detail with accessories (no gloves or hosiery required, low heels acceptable).
  • Understanding and interpretation of the current fashion trends.
  • Grooming and deportment.
  • Suitability of the outfit for Beach Races (slight midriffs are acceptable)

Here’s what was on stage at the Pol Roger Beach Polo in Adelaide earlier this year if you are looking for some inspiration…

2017 Pol Roger Glenelg Beach Polo

So what’s suitable and appropriate for the a fashion competition on the beach? Don’t worry, you won’t need to whip out your best bikini. Keep it classy with a touch of fun and add a dash of spontaneity because a day at the beach is about experiencing ultimate freedom.


beach races

Single block colours stand out against the crisp white sand and straw brimmed hats will keep the sunburn away. Avoid black and darker colours. Not only are they better suited to winter weather but you’ll feel a lot cooler during the day if you don’t wear black.

beach races

Dress 1 // Dress 2 // Dress 3 // Dress 4
see more dresses at ASOS

Hat 1 // Hat 2 // Hat 3
see more hats at ASOS


Nautical inspired colours like blue and white look fabulous with tan or bamboo accessories. Floaty silhouettes are feminine and perfect for a day at the beach because they will keep you cool. Make sure your bag has a shoulder strap so you will have one hand free to sip your champagne in style and comfort.

Beach races

Top // Bag // Skirt

Shoe 1 // Scarf // Shoe 2


Who doesn’t love a sweet summery print? Florals never go out of style and you can wear what suits your personality (or even the opposite of what you’d normally wear). Think subtle pastels or bright prints that pack a punch. Experiment with printed accessories or hats if you want to add just a touch of print into your outfit.

Dress 1 // Heels // Bag // Dress 2
see more heels at SIREN SHOES and more dresses at BNKR


Walking on sand in heels is like…. Well nothing really, it just does NOT work! There are some really stylish options that you can add to your outfit if flats aren’t your thing. If you don’t want to lower your heels try a block heel or even a wedge. Your feet and legs will thank you for it at the end of the day.



Sun and sand call for statement sunnies because nothing is worse that squinting all day (ugh keep those pesky wrinkles at bay if you can). Have fun and don’t be afraid to be a little daring with your accessories, think big tassel earrings, embellished glasses or funky handbags.

These styles available at ADORNE


Head scarves and wraps are a casual and fun option for the beach but make sure you choose a lightweight fabric. You can create a glamorous look by getting all tied up on top and the best part is anything goes! You can find old silk scarves a plenty at op-shops in a array of sizes, colours and prints. If you’re not sure how to tie a turban here’s a few ways you can try out this trend at home….


Let’s not forget the blokes – they love a day at the beach as much as us ladies especially when prizes for best dressed are up for grabs. Step up your style game and pull out a blazer, short sleeve shirt, boat shoes and some accessories. Don’t shy away from colour or be afraid to pop on a hat guys, it really does take a good outfit to the next level!

Find these hat styles and more at ASOS

Find these short styles and more at CONNOR

Shoes 1 // Shoes 2 // Shoes 3
See more styles at WINDSOR SMITH

Find more accessories at CONNOR

When is it? 17th – 19th August (Fashions on the Sand held on Saturday)

Where is it? Mackay Harbour Beach QLD

Who can enter?
Categories for Caneland Central Fashions on the Sand include;
* Boys and Girls 12 and under
* Teens 13 to 17
* Ladies and Men’s 18-35
* Ladies and Men’s 36 and over
* Gentleman 18+
* Best dressed couple
* Best Headwear

Where can I find out more?
To get more information or book tickets visit www.mackaybeachhorseraces.com.au

To pre-register for Fashions on the Sand click here 

Feature Image and Style Inspiration Images: Blaire Eadie/Atlantic Pacific and Pinterest