Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Australia’s largest and most prestigious offshore yachting event, is already off to a promising start with 100 entries received to date, a new Superyacht division for motor yachts and a sparkling social program that will delight fashionistas and foodies alike. The event is scheduled to take place from Friday 19 – Saturday 27 August.
Yachties will flock to Hamilton Island’s 28th annual regatta for action-packed offshore racing which for the first time includes a new motor Superyacht division, new entries from a radical Grand Prix racer 42-footer called ‘Q’ to the Superyacht ‘Janice of Wyoming’ as well as past contenders such as supermaxi ‘Loyal’ as well as five-times Rolex Sydney to Hobart winner, ‘Wild Oats XI’.
The regatta program includes categories for top-class racers ‘Grand Prix’, an IRC Passage class for modern fast-cruising yachts, performance racing and sports boat classes. There are also cruising, corporate, bareboat and non-spinnaker divisions. Aquatic attractions are not only limited to the racing, last year’s event was graced by the breathtaking sight of a breaching humpback whale.
Onshore highlights and famous faces:
Spectators will have the chance to rub shoulders with the glitterati of the Australian social scene including fashion designers, entertainers, TV and sporting personalities. Last year, Dannii Minogue and Kris Smith chose Race Week to make their first public appearance since the birth of son, Ethan.
Audi will present Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan’s ‘Collette Dinnigan Cruise Collection 2011’ at Hamilton Island’s exclusive qualia resort. For the first time, Collette will also show her diffusion line ‘Collette by Collette Dinnigan’ as part of the Wild Oats Ladies Lunch to be held at the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club.
Highlights include the stylish Moet & Chandon lunch and the Audi Robert Oatley Vineyards chefs’
table dinners with celebrity chefs Matt Moran from acclaimed Aria restaurant and Melbourne’s
Shannon Bennett from Vue de monde. Pandora will once again host its jewellery styling workshops
with top tips from Harper’s BAZAAR’s fashion editors. For a sporting thrill of another kind, golf clinics are available with Golf Pro Craig Parry to bring performances up to par on the new championship Hamilton Island Golf Club.
On Lay Day, Wednesday 24 August, Hamilton Island’s ‘Great Barrier Reef Airport’ runway will turn into a thrilling drive test challenge devised by Audi’s motorsport champion. To win the major prize at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, a new Audi A1, all crews must demonstrate skills both in sailing and driving with the final winner being chosen from the divisional winners and the Audi Final Drive Challenge. The winning crew will be announced at the presentation dinner on the regatta’s final day.
Racing is in Hamilton Island’s ‘blood’:
Hamilton Island’s owner, Sandy Oatley, believes the 28th regatta will be the best Race Week yet.
“Each Race Week we strive for excellence and always have an expert team in place – from our CEO of Hamilton Island, Glenn Bourke, who is a twice sailing Olympian and previously named Australian
Yachtsman of the Year, to all our energetic staff members at Hamilton Island who work tirelessly to create a memorable event for the yachties and spectators alike.”
“Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is my favourite time to visit the island, the atmosphere is magic, there’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie and was one of the reasons my family decided to buy Hamilton Island in the first place,” said Mr Oatley.