Fun in the Aussie sun

Entries top 200 for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week reports Rob Mundle

Monday July 30th 2007, Author: Rob Mundle, Location: Australasia
When South Australia’s Michael Keough was told that his was the 200th entry for this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week you could have thought he had won the lottery.

"That’s fantastic," he said excitedly. "What an honour. It's going to be a great regatta this year. We're really looking forward to it."

As well as being a milestone, Keough’s entry for the Farr IRC 42, Laurelle, meant the fleet was just six short of an all-time record in Race Week’s impressive 24-year history. And today that record was a step closer with three more yachts being registered for the regatta, which will be staged between 18 and 25 August. With entries closing this Friday, 3 August, it is now an anxious wait for organisers to see if Australia’s premier series for ocean racing yachts achieves yet another high point.

"This is the fifth time I've been to Race Week," said Keough. "There's nothing to compare with it when it comes to the sailing and on-shore activities. The atmosphere is exceptional, the weather is warm, and it’s an event that family and friends can enjoy."

Keough added that the promise of some interesting new courses and an expanded social program made this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week even more appealing.

Built in Adelaide and owned by Ray Borrett, Laurelle is the third of the new Farr IRC 42s to be launched.

"She is a cruiser-racer but we’ve entered her in the IRC Racing division just to see how she lines up against the best boats," Keough said. "We have new sails and an excellent crew lined up, including Bill O’Malley from the Farr office in America and Chris Tillett from Adelaide, so well give it our best shot."

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is Australia’s most highly awarded sailing event. It has been recognised as Queensland's ‘Best Significant Event’ at the annual Queensland Tourism Awards on three occasions, and has received two Australian Tourism Awards.

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