Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 was hailed as the most successful and satisfying in the event’s spectacular 28-year history.
There were 195 racing yachts – ranging from small cruisers to record-breaking supermaxis – and some impressive superyachts on the water. Then, when the sailing was done, crews, families, friends and island guests sampled the most impressive on-shore party and social agenda imaginable.
There were numerous highlights throughout the week, but none more so than the presence of the world’s oldest sporting trophy, America’s Cup, and the current Cup winning skipper, Australia’s Jimmy Spithill. And while the sailing scene was incredibly exciting, thanks to the presence of a solid south-easterly tradewind for much of the week, there was a most impressive array of familiar and friendly faces across the party schedule, including Naomi Watts, Megan Gale, Tom Williams, Matt Moran, Shannon Bennett, Catriona Rowntree, Sandra Sully and Mark Beretta.
Everyone was impressed by the week’s sailing and social activities, and it was the man who brought the Cup to the regatta, 30-year America’s Cup legend Tom Ehman, who summed up the week perfectly: ‘Hamilton Island Race Week is the best kept secret in the world of yachting. The organisers of any major race week should look at how Hamilton Island makes this more than a sailing event: it’s also a social and cultural happening. Through resources, imagination and hard work it has really come into its own