New facilities at Hamo
Both developments, considered world class in design and presentation, will further enhance the experience competitors, their families and friends will enjoy during the week of racing and social activities over 22 to 29 August. The yachts will be competing on courses that take them around the stunning tropical islands making up what is Australia’s equivalent of the Caribbean, and back on shore the social activities will be of unprecedented standards in the sport in Australia.
The opening of these remarkable facilities will be among many special activities that will take place at Race Week. Organisers have taken the successful formula that saw a record fleet of 225 yachts participate in last year’s 25th anniversary regatta, and enhanced it considerably for 2009. There will be further improvements to the racing and a very appealing expansion of the social program.
The unique Walter Barda design and setting of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club will inevitably lead to it being recognised as one of the world’s most outstanding yachting establishments. The amazing roof, which has a shape inspired by the soaring silhouette of full sail, is said to have a visual impact along similar lines to the iconic Sydney Opera House.
The imposing structure, which presents a dramatic nautical influence from every angle, is the centrepiece of an exclusive precinct comprising 35 elegant stand-alone villas, enchanting tropical gardens, and an impressive waterfront lagoon swimming pool. The world class facilities within the Yacht Club include a contemporary indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar overlooking the marina, and private dining and function rooms which have expansive views of Dent Passage.
Much of the nautical statement that is on the design for the Yacht Club has been influenced by two of Australia’s great achievers in the sport, Olympian and World Champion Iain Murray, and Bob Oatley, owner of the supermaxi Wild Oats XI, which claimed an unprecedented fourth consecutive line honours in the recent Sydney to Hobart race. The Oatley family owns Hamilton Island.
Like the Yacht Club, the Hamilton Island Golf Course will bring a new dimension to the game on the Australian and international scene. It is already being predicted by golf experts that this 6,083 metre, par 71 course, which was designed by five-time British Open winner Peter Thomson, will be ranked among the world’s best. Each one of the 18 holes presents such sweeping views of the waters and islands making up the Whitsunday region that it’s already being suggested some people might want to take all day to complete a round.
On the sailing scene, 12 keelboat divisions are likely to make up this year’s regatta with the cruising divisions again destined to be the largest. Charter yacht organisations in the Whitsundays are already taking bookings from sailors wanting to be at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2009.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website, which is already up and operating, has special ‘early bird’ accommodation offers available to competitors who want to register now.