Audi Hamilton Island Race Week ramps up
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week – Australia’s most popular and successful week of keelboat racing and onshore fun – has been launched for 2010 with the promise of exciting new activities both on and off the water. The regatta is scheduled for 21 to 28 August.
The Notice of Race, which gives preliminary details of the sailing events for what is the 27th edition of the series, is now published at the Hamilton Island Race Week website. Also on the website are accommodation options for the week, and soon to come will be an outline of some of the tempting and entertaining activities that will be happening on shore.
The enormity of what has become Australia’s most awarded keelboat regatta is reflected in the Race Week statistics: around 200 yachts are expected to make up the fleet; some 3000 sailors, families and friends will be in attendance, and the competing yachts will range in size from the 6.15 metre long SB3 sports boats through to the sleek and exceptionally large new superyacht, Kokomo, which measures 58 metres in overall length. Between these extremes will be one of the widest cross-sections of keelboats imaginable – from small cruising yachts through to cruiser-racers, IRC Grand Prix thoroughbreds and supermaxis. Both the SB3’s and superyachts will be making their debut at Race Week.
As is the norm, the courses planned for the 14 divisions will take in the natural beauty of the islands that surround Hamilton Island and provide exciting challenges for crews.
The social agenda this year, which is designed to suit every taste in music, food and entertainment, will be more extensive than ever. It will include –
• Bands, dancing and dining in the open air on the harbour front
• A Boy’s Own beachfront barbecue hosted by Pete Evans
• A special Ladies’ Lunch hosted by Pete Evans
• Chef’s Table dinners and master classes with Matt Moran (Aria) and Shannon Bennett (Vue de Monde) at the incredible new Hamilton Island Yacht Club
• The inaugural ‘Barefoot & Black Tie’ function at the award winning qualia
• And, by popular demand, another Deadliest Catch Crab Feast Dinner with Andy and Jonathon Hillstrand, the captains of Time Bandit in ‘The Deadliest Catch’ TV series
Another new event this year will be a very large and vibrant beachfront pool party which is in the planning stages for the Thursday lay-day. It’s going to be something special.
There are other attractions, like the opportunity to play 18-holes at the amazing Hamilton Island Golf Club, a course which provides some of the most spectacular views you will find on any golf course in the world. Then there are the whales: at the time of Race Week the Whitsunday Islands region is a nursery for whales that have migrated all the way north to the tropics from Antarctic waters to give birth and mate. Their antics are amazing to watch.
‘We will be catering for everyone and everything this year at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week,’ said the island’s CEO, Glenn Bourke. ‘Hamilton Island is the best location in the world for this type of major regatta. The island is the centrepiece among 68 uninhabited islands, it’s tropical, the waters and wind are ideal for sailing, and the onshore social activities cap it off to perfection. Race Week is unlike any other event in Australia. It’s a regatta you just have to do.’
Bourke, a three-time Laser class world champion and Australian Olympian, will be taking a special interest in the SB3 division at Race Week as he is a two-time winner of the SB3 UK championship.