by Rob Mundle
This year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will be a family affair with the addition of a husband, wife and their two children – aboard the yacht that has just become the 50th entry.
It was this style of warm weather racing aboard his previous yacht, Geomatic Joker, that has brought Adrian Lewis back to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week this year with his new Hanse 495, Geomatic.
Geomatic, an impressive new Hanse 495 owned by Adrian Lewis, out of Mornington on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay, was the yacht that took the fleet for this year’s regatta into the 50s. The 15.4 metre long sloop, which was built in Northern Germany, will be competing in the regatta’s most popular division, Cruising.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week caters for the full spectrum of keelboats – from non-spinnaker cruising yachts and sport boats through to Grand Prix level racers. There will also be a division for high-performance multihulls this year.
This will be Lewis’ third Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and the first time he has competed with his own yacht. In 2006 he was in a three-way share in Geomatic Joker at Race Week, and prior to that he was crew aboard a friend’s yacht.
‘Race Week is the regatta you just have to do,’ Lewis said. ‘Apart from the great camaraderie between competing crews, I really enjoy the courses that take you around all the deserted islands, and the challenge that comes with the tidal currents in the Whitsundays makes the racing even more interesting.
‘I’m also looking forward to it being a family affair for me this year. As well as having four friends in the crew, my 16-year-old daughter, Anastasia, and 14-year-old son, Will, will be on board. My wife, Sarah, is scheduled to make the occasional appearance, depending on the weather and what social functions there are to be enjoyed on shore each day.’
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week organisers are expecting a fleet of around 200 for this year’s event, which is scheduled for August 17 to 25. The number has rapidly approached 60 since Geomatic’s entry was lodged.
Possibly the best venue in the world for a regatta: Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is sailed around the many deserted tropical islands of the Whitsundays.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website