by Rob Mundle
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 is being held from 17 to 25 August. Sailing superyacht owners are invited to experience the unique on-water and party pleasures that have propelled the event to a point where it is ranked amongst the world’s best regattas.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012
The Superyacht Division will be a key element in the 2012 series, which will be staged at a venue that is the centrepiece of what is becoming the world’s latest superyacht playground, and Australia’s answer to the Caribbean.
Yacht owners and their guests will experience an exceptional racing agenda, one which will see them engaged in stimulating competition over courses that take in many of the 68 uninhabited Whitsunday Islands that are in close proximity to Hamilton Island.
Back on shore, the party schedule for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 will set new standards for what is a truly world class regatta. There will be more stunning fashion, delicious food, fine wine, wellbeing and camaraderie throughout the entire week.
Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the main partner for Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand will offer a range of high-end events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy.
Such is the status of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that the America’s Cup made an appearance at the 2011 event, and the man who brought it to the island from San Francisco – America’s Cup legend of 30-years, Tom Ehman – returned home quite amazed by what he had experienced: ‘Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is the best kept secret in the world of yachting. The organisers of any major race week should look at how Hamilton Island makes this more than a sailing event: it’s also a social and cultural happening. Through resources, imagination and hard work it has really come into its own.’
Bob Oatley, who owns the 30-metre supermaxi racer, Sydney-Hobart race record holder Wild Oats XI, is the owner of Hamilton Island. Since taking possession in 2003, he and his family have invested an enormous amount to ensure the island stands with the best of the world’s superyacht destinations. For example, the island’s exclusive qualia resort is internationally acclaimed and highly awarded, while the avant-garde design of Hamilton Island Yacht Club is quite breathtaking. As well, there is a championship standard 18-hole golf course which embraces sweeping views of the Whitsunday Islands and mainland. Hamilton Island also has its own commercial jet airport.
The region is safe, uncrowded, easily accessed and offers many fabulous experiences. The Whitsundays comprise a total of 74 islands on Australia’s northeast tropical coast, and Hamilton Island is the largest of the six that are inhabited. Incredibly, every one of the Whitsunday Islands – and the Great Barrier Reef – are within a radius of just 40 nautical miles from Hamilton Island. The coast of the state of Queensland is 20 miles to the west.
Each year around 200 keelboats from across Australia and overseas compete at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which was first staged in 1984. The entries range from superyachts and supermaxis through to Grand Prix level racers, cruising yachts, high performance multihulls and sports boats. It’s a wide spectrum of sailboats and competitors, and organisers make sure that everyone is well catered for.
A brief and impressive highlights package from Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 can be viewed online.
Expressions of Interest: Superyacht owners or captains wishing to lodge an Expression of Interest in competing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 – or wanting more information – should contact Rob Mundle at rob.mundle(@)bigpond.com or call +61 (0)417 323 573.
Hamilton Island website
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website