by Rob Mundle
2014 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - As the fleet size for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week climbs towards the impressive mark of 180, it has been confirmed that this year there will again be two trophies on offer that any competing crew can win.
Following Clive Palmer’s lead, John and Kim Clinton got into the spirit of the Prix d’Elegance at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013 with the launch of their mock “Holy Cow” political party.
These stylish trophies will go to the winners of the Prix d’Elegance, the event where crews go to great lengths to display their creative genius in one of the two categories:
The best-presented yacht: the yacht perfectly presented, and the crew in matching uniforms lining the deck etc. Yacht can be subtly themed.
Best-themed yacht: We’ve had political satire, tropical island settings, bubble baths and even Michael Jackson as themes for this section.
The Prix d’Elegance will be staged before the start of racing on Friday, August 23.
Over the years this all-in event has proven to be a boat-load of fun for competitors, and high entertainment for the spectators watching from the shore.
One of the leading contenders in the 'Best Themed' category will no doubt be Holy Cow, owned Race Week stalwarts John and Kim Clinton (John is the high-profile leader, drummer and vocalist for Australia’s legendary southern-style band, The Wolverines). This year they will be out to win the trophy for an unprecedented third time. Two years ago their theme was 'Fifty Shades of Green', while last year they decided to follow Clive Palmer’s lead and form their own political party, 'The Holy Cow Party'.
Judging takes place from the Flag Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club. As each themed yacht departs Hamilton Harbour and heads out to racing that day, they cruise past the yacht club so their efforts can be considered by the judges, and applauded by the spectators. 'The Prix d’Elegance is an integral part of the fun everyone enjoys at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week,' said Race Director, Denis Thompson. 'Every year it’s amazing to see what lengths crews go to in their attempt to win these two trophies.'
Busy times coming up for Hamilton Island Yacht Club during Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2014
With the number of entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2014 confirming the continuation of the upwards trend of recent years, Denis Thompson added that this year’s fleet represented a true cross-section of the sport. In particular, he was pleased to note that the fleet of large multihulls this year, numbering 20, was a 75 per cent increase on last year.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will be staged from August 16 to 23. The Notice of Race, entry form and regatta information are available on the regatta website.
German luxury brand, Audi, is back for the ninth year at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in 2014. Audi and the sport of sailing go hand in hand, thanks to a shared passion for winning performance, the use of lightweight and progressive materials in construction, and a love of spirited competition. In Australia, the Audi brand closed 2013 with its ninth consecutive year of growth, supported in part by the Australian sailing community. Throughout Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2014, the brand will host a range of events and activities on the island for yacht owners, yacht crews and guests to enjoy.