Audi Hamilton Island Race Week to be developed

Denis Thompson and Rob Mundle brought on board

Thursday December 21st 2006, Author: Rob Mundle, Location: Australasia
Two prominent sailing identities, Denis Thompson and Rob Mundle, have been appointed to develop Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2007.

Thompson, one of Australia’s most respected yacht race administrators, will become the Race Director and coordinate all matters relating to the regatta’s on-water activities. Mundle, a well-known media personality and author, will manage the promotion of Race Week. The pair will work in close consultation with Hamilton Island management.

In announcing the appointments the Executive Chairman of Hamilton Island Enterprises, Sandy Oatley, said: “With Audi coming on board as naming rights sponsor for the 24th edition of Race Week we have the opportunity to move the event into an exciting new era. It has already been confirmed that the final round of the recently announced Audi IRC Australian Championship will be contested at Race Week and that the overall champion will be declared at the end of the regatta.

“I have no doubt that that the competitors, their families and friends will be treated to something very special at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2007. The revamped program for the week will ensure that this award-winning regatta continues to stand proudly alongside the world’s best.”

Since purchasing Hamilton Island three years ago the Oatley family, led by prominent ocean racing yachtsman and winemaker Bob Oatley, has initiated an impressive series of projects to upgrade the Great Barrier Reef resort, which is located amid the tropical Whitsunday Islands. Their plan includes the creation of the Great Barrier Reef Yacht Club, which has America’s Cup and world champion yachtsman, Iain Murray, as Commodore.

Denis Thompson, who was recognised for his exceptional efforts as Principal Race Officer at the recent Etchells World Championship in Perth, said his blueprint for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2007 was promising excellent competition for all divisions, racing and cruising: “The aim is to meet the changing needs of sailors, and that is why we are starting afresh,” he said. “The best features of previous regattas will remain alongside changes that I’m sure will satisfy everyone. We are definitely considering some new courses so that competitors can enjoy great racing while taking in the spectacular tropical island scenery in the region.”

Rob Mundle’s association with Audi Hamilton Island Race Week goes back 24 years to when he and a small group of friends met at the island and created the concept for the regatta. He plans to expand the promotion of the series nationally and internationally, and create a social agenda that ensures maximum pleasure for everyone. He has confirmed that the legendary Whitehaven Beach Party will remain an essential ingredient of Race Week.

“There is a big reputation to live up to,” Rob Mundle said. “The previous team, led by Warwick Hoban, did an excellent job growing Race Week from year one. The fact that Race Week has won the award for being Queensland's ‘Best Significant Event’ at the annual Queensland Tourism Awards on three occasions, and two Australian Tourism Awards, says everything. Now the opportunity exists to take Audi Hamilton Island Race Week to even higher levels of satisfaction for all concerned, and that’s what we will be working to achieve.”

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2007 will be staged from August 18-25. The Notice of Race will be issued shortly.

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