by Rob Mundle
One lucky yacht owner competing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week next month will be going home with a $45,000 prize – a superb Audi A1 Ambition compact car.
START LINE - Hamilton Island Race 2010
It will be the most valuable prize offered for any Australian sailing event this year.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012, which will be staged from August 17 to 25, is open to a wide spectrum of sailboats – from sportboats to cruising yachts, cruiser-racers and Grand Prix level keelboats, plus high-performance multihulls. The fleet already totals 131, and with entries being received at a rate faster than last year it is likely 200 yachts will be competing.
To win this stylish ‘Misano Red’premium car from Audi, yacht owners and crews will need to combine their best sailing skills with those of being a skilful driver at the wheel of a blisteringly-quick Audi R8 sports coupe. Audi’s chief driving instructor, former Top Gear TV presenter and race car driver, Steve Pizzati, will be on the island to put crews through their paces.
The Audi A1 Ambition will be awarded to one of the division winners at Race Week – from Cruising through to IRC Grand Prix Racing – but there will be a ‘leveller’, the Audi Final Drive Challenge. Best described as a test of cunning and consistency in a unique driving event, the Audi Final Drive Challenge is designed to test the adeptness of all yacht owners and their crews when it comes to handling an Audi R8 sports coupe on what will be an action-packed course at Hamilton Island airport.
The Drive Challenge will be one of many activities scheduled for the regatta’s lay-day, Wednesday, August 22. With results for each division still far from decided at that stage of racing, it will be important for crewmembers from all competing yachts to take part and register their best time. To be eligible for the prize one nominated crew member from each yacht must have participated in the Challenge.
The Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Ambition is a 90 kW vehicle that features a dual clutch S-tronic transmission for lightning fast gear changes and excellent fuel economy. The actual prize car will not only look the part, it will offer many features including 17-inch V-spoke alloy wheels, a media package that includes Bluetooth phone preparation and music streaming, a BOSE sound system and a ‘Legends’ interior and exterior styling package.
Audi’s presence at Race Week this year will be further enhanced by an impressive display of motor vehicles and the presence of a competing yacht, Audi Penfold Sport, skippered by David Ellis and representing Audi Penfold in Melbourne. The 37-metre luxury motoryacht, Masteka 2, will be Audi’s VIP vessel for the regatta.
All information relating to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 is on the regatta website The Notice of Race and Entry Form are also on the site.
Audi R8 Farbe: Ibisweiss
Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the title sponsor of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand will host a range of special events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.