Beneteau has a long and proud involvement with Hamilton Island Race Week and it was fitting that in the 30th year of this great event the French sailing marque continued the tradition with another big fleet in attendance as well as some outstanding results. With 25 Beneteaus in this year’s fleet and looking back at the crew and boats in attendance over the past 30 years, it was estimated that over 500 Beneteaus and many thousands of supporting Beneteau crew have been involved with the iconic Australian Regatta. Support from the worlds leading yacht brand and their owners, which will no doubt continue for many years to come.
Thanks to the Beneteau dealer network, the week started with the daily race briefings for all participating yachts, skippers and owners. Local legend Michael Spies enlisted the support and advice of a number of leading yachtsmen to share their thoughts on the daily conditions and insight into the tactics that many of the leading crews may use.
The daily race briefings have proven to be a hit over many years with all participating yachts invited to attend and it is an event that continues with thanks to the kind support of Hamilton Island, Michael Spies and the Beneteau dealers including Vicsail Sydney and Pittwater, Sundance Marine Victoria and Tasmania, Spirit Marine Queensland and Squadron Marine in WA.
Light conditions greeted the fleet for most of the regatta but fierce competition for honours was as present as ever. 25 Beneteaus were represented across most of the categories with a number of outstanding results. Ross Johnston and the crew aboard his Sense 55 Circe took overall honours in Cruising Division 1, with Stuart Pascoe and his Beneteau Oceanis 343 Christina Jay, enjoying honours in Non Spinnaker Division 2.
IRC Division 1 saw Paul Clitheroe and the crew aboard his First 45 Balance take out second overall and Howard Piggott and the crew aboard his Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud taking out 3rd overall in IRC Division 2, a great result after they recorded a DNF in race 1.
Glenn Fitzgerald and the crew of his Beneteau 50 Summers Lease also recorded a 3rd overall in Cruising Division 3. Congratulations to all other Beneteau owners and crew and we look forward to seeing you flying the flag once again next year at the 2014 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Beneteau and their dealer network look forward to a full calendar of events and regattas coming over the summer with each Dealership hosting their annual Beneteau Cups and some exciting news to be announced soon on the second Beneteau First Nationals to be held early next year.