Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Landmark occasion in the Whitsundays

Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 - Hamilton Island Yacht Club
Taking place from 17–24 August, Australia’s premier offshore regatta celebrates its pearl anniversary in 2013, drawing more than 155 boats to the Whitsunday Island for the landmark occasion. This year also marks the 10th year of Oatley custodianship of Hamilton Island, a momentous milestone in its own right.

Avid sailor and owner of the infamous supermaxi Wild Oats XI, family patriarch Bob Oatley officially launched the week with a ceremonial raising of the flag accompanied by Queensland’s Minister for Tourism, Small Business, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey and Audi Australia’s Managing Director, Andrew Doyle.

Bob Oatley, Ernesto and Kristy Bertarelli, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Welcome cocktail party
Belinda Rolland ©
Bob said: ‘Reaching thirty years of this great regatta could not have been accomplished without the tremendous commitment by the sailing fraternity including everyone here this evening. I thank you for your continued support for what has evolved, particularly over the last decade, into a truly world-class sailing event.’

Attending the prestigious launch evening were yacht owners and sailing’s elite including Australian 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page; two time America's Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli; New Zealand’s America's Cup sailor, and Bertarelli's sailing master, Brad Butterworth; two time Audi Hamilton Island Race Week champion, Marcus Blackmore; Wild Oats XI Captain, Mark Richards; the world's fastest man under sail - Paul Larsen; winner of the inaugural Hamilton Island Race Week, Peter Briggs (who has brought the same yacht, Hitchhiker', from Perth this year), and finance guru Paul Clitheroe.

Bob’s three children, eldest son and Chairman of Hamilton Island Enterprises, Sandy Oatley, Ian Oatley and Ros Oatley, plus granddaughter Nicky Tindill (nee Oatley), were also all in attendance, representing three generations of the Oatley family.

German luxury carmaker and principal sponsor, Audi, is celebrating its eighth year of partnership with Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in 2013.

'Audi is proud to be a long-time sponsor of this incredibly engaging and competitive event,' said Managing Director of Audi Australia, Andrew Doyle. 'On behalf of Audi, our team and our guests, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Oatley family for their great friendship and support of our brand in these past eight years. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and valuable partnership between two great brands.'

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has evolved over the past three decades into a spectacular display of on-water racing paired with the finest epicurean cuisine, exclusive fashion shows, flowing champagne and celebrity guests. Special events not to be missed at this year’s regatta include the Collette Dinnigan Resort Show and Cocktail Party at qualia Resort, the only location outside of Paris that the internationally acclaimed fashion designer shows her collections; the Charles-Heidsieck Champagne Lunch where guests will dine on a bespoke menu matched with fine Charles-Heidsieck wines; brunches and lunches presented by Audi ambassadors and iconic Australian chefs Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong and Shannon Bennett; and the Paspaley Pearl Pursuit and Luncheon featuring an Island-wide treasure hunt with clues and challenges to be followed before guests enjoy a glorious lunch served on the sands of Pebble Beach, qualia.

Kylie Speer, Adriano Zumbo & Daniella Ruggero, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week- Welcome Cocktail Party
Belinda Rolland ©

Denny Dixon, Rob Mundle and Helena Darvelid, Paul Larson, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week welcome cocktail party
Belinda Rolland ©

Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 - Hamilton Island, Queensland (AUS), the cocktail welcome party
Belinda Rolland ©

Adriano Zumbo, Daniella Ruggero and Marvin Holder, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Welcome Cocktail Party
Belinda Rolland ©

Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 - Hamilton Island, Queensland (AUS), the cocktail welcome party
Belinda Rolland ©

For more information visit Hamilton Island Race Week
http://www.sail-world.com/113352