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Flying boats at Hamilton Island Race Week 2019

by Rob Mundle 20 Jun 2019 19:28 PDT 17-24 August 2019
Racing in paradise. Hamilton Island Race Week is recognised as one of the world's great regattas. © Andrea Francolini

Cats and tris will be flying hulls in close encounters at Australia's premier offshore regatta, Hamilton Island Race Week, which will be staged from August 17-24.

And while those remarkable multihulls do their aerobatics, they will be surrounded by 200 or more monohull sailboats, ranging from Grand Prix level offshore racers to production yachts, classic cruisers and trailables.

"One of the many unique features of Race Week is the location of Hamilton Island," said the island's CEO, Olympic and world champion yachtsman Glenn Bourke. "We are surrounded by a myriad of magnificent islands, large and small, and that allows race director Denis Thompson to set courses to suit all divisions. Each day's race is as much a scenic adventure as a race; there are no boring buoys to go around - we have islands."

The star of the multihull fleet this year will no doubt be the high-performance MOD70 trimaran Beau Geste, owned by the current Class A ocean racing world champion yachtsman Karl Kwok, from Hong Kong. Three or possibly four Extreme 40 catamarans and the TF10 hydrofoil trimarans will also be spectacular crowd-pleasers across the week.

The Extreme 40 catamaran to beat, The Boat Works, will be back for its third Race Week. It is owned by former champion motor racing driver and owner of The Boat Works marine facility on the Gold Coast, Tony Longhurst. The boat's manager Julian Griffiths said he and the crew were looking forward to racing in the tradewinds at Race Week: "Our boat can reach speeds of 30 knots on flat water in around 20 knots of wind. But we will still give the spectators a thrill in as little as eight knots of breeze."

The number of entries for this year's 36th edition of Hamilton Island Race Week continues to climb impressively towards 200, and there are signs the final figure may go beyond the record of 253 yachts in 2016. Regardless, the cross-section of entries in all divisions leaves no doubt this will be another spectacular Race Week.

Tickets for the onshore program during Hamilton Island Race Week 2019 went on sale earlier this month. The week is set to be filled with an array of fabulous events including Race Week favourites the Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch and the Surf and Turf Comedy night, plus the introduction of new special events. See www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au/on-shore-events

Special accommodation packages are available and include everything from 3 star to 6-star hotels as well as a range of self-catering holiday homes, which are a great option for crews. Book at www.hamiltonisland.com.au/sports-events/hamilton-island-race-week/hot-deals

Hamilton Island Race Week has an impressive history. It was established following Australia's historic victory in the America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1983. The inaugural regatta staged in April 1984 attracted an outstanding fleet of 92 yachts which came from all points across Australia, including Perth.

The Notice of Race and all details relating to Hamilton Island Race Week 2019 are on the website.

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