Australia’s most successful Olympic sailing team is heading to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week where they will be congratulated by their peers, and joining sailing’s biggest winter party.
Australia’s sailing medallists at Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Wednesday - Photo Michelle Kearney
Hosted by longtime Australian Sailing Team sponsors, Audi Australia and Hamilton Island, a large contingent of Olympic medalists and coaches will arrive tomorrow, Tuesday August 21, for an official welcome home and street parade along Front Street starting at 5.30pm.
After the parade, guests staying on or visiting the island will have the opportunity for autographs from the athletes at the main stage and to congratulate them on their world beating London performance.
The following day, between 12pm and 1pm on Wednesday August 22, the team will make another appearance, this time at the Beachside pool party at the main pool at Catseye beach.
Australia’s first London 2012 individual gold medallist, Tom Slingsby, landed last Thursday to join the crew of Peter Harburg’s Queensland RP66 Black Jack. Slingsby had sailed with the Queensland crew previously and was already on the crew list prior to becoming a national hero at the London Games.
The dynamic duo of 470 gold medalists, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, who are also brand Ambassadors for Audi, will arrive on Tuesday as will Iain Jensen, one half of the successful 49er pair that claimed Australia’s second sailing gold medal at Weymouth.
Skipper of the 49er, Nathan Outteridge, won’t be joining his teammates at Race Week. Having arrived in Sydney with the rest of the Australian Olympic team plane from London he had less than 24 hours to fulfill media commitments, dash back to his hometown on Lake Macquarie for a night before boarding a plane at lunchtime the following day to San Francisco to take up helming duties for Team Korea’s America’s Cup campaign.
‘I am disappointed I can't be at Hamilton Island to celebrate with all the people who have supported the Australian Sailing Team, especially all the team’s sponsors and patrons,’ Outteridge said.
Australia’s silver medalists in the Women’s Match Racing, Olivia Price, Lucinda Whitty and Nina Curtis will touch down on Tuesday as will lauded sailing coach, Victor Kovalenko, along with other Australian Sailing Team coaches and officials.
All information relating to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 is on the regatta website