by Rob Mundle
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, is planning to broaden its already legendary appeal this year.
Super yacht Perseus heads for the start line - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2010
Organisers of the regatta, which will be staged from 19 to 27 August, have announced that following the successful introduction of a superyacht sailing division last year, a superyacht division for motor yachts will be an additional feature at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011.
At the same time the sportboat category, which sees the SB3 class already committed, will be expanded to include Melges 32s and other designs.
The inclusion of the superyacht division for motor yachts is a pioneering move that will further enhance the outstanding sailing and social program being planned for the pleasure of all competitors, family and friends attending Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011. The competition for these particular vessels will be a significant step away from the ‘predicted log’ type challenge that is usually the basis for a motor yacht event. The novel format, which is currently being finalised, is set to test the skills of the crews both afloat and ashore. When on the water they will be competing in areas away from the yacht racing.
‘Our aim has always been to make Audi Hamilton Island Race Week something very special: a benchmark for yachting regattas on the world scene and one every competitor will enjoy,’ said Hamilton Island’s chairman, Sandy Oatley.
‘By expanding the sportboat division and including powered superyachts this year we will be presenting an amazing range of marine competition across the week. At the same time it must be said that every entry, from the smallest sportboat and cruising yacht to the largest superyacht, will be equally important to us. We want everyone who is there to have a great time while sailing on some of the best waters imaginable and to have great fun onshore.’
Already the 40-metre long sailing superyacht, Janice of Wyoming, which is currently in Auckland, has indicated it will be entering Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011. The widely accepted definition of a superyacht is a vessel with an overall length of 24.38 metres (80ft) or greater.
Also, six months prior to the regatta, the first international entry has been received. New Zealand sailing legend Jim Farmer and co-owner Chris Meads plan to return with their impressive IRC52 racer, Georgia. At last year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Georgia was a member of the Kiwi team which removed the South Pacific Cup from Australian hands.
The Notice of Race, including the entry form, has been posted on the regatta website – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet heads across the famous Whitsunday Passage. - Audi Hamilton Race Week
Hamilton Island Race Week’s naming rights sponsor, luxury car maker Audi, is Australia’s largest corporate sponsor of yachting.