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Hamilton Island Race Week 2019: 200 entries and climbing

by Rob Mundle 16 Jul 20:34 PDT 17-24 August 2019
Breeze on at Hamilton Island Race Week 2019. © Salty Dingo

A yacht with a name that says it all for its now retired owner is the 200th entry for Hamilton Island Race Week, which will be staged on the picturesque tropical waters of the Whitsundays next month.

Freedom, a Beneteau 393 production yacht, is owned by Paul Melling who left an engineering business in Sydney five years ago and retired to Port Macquarie on the NSW north coast. He and the majority of a crew of mates who raced with him in Sydney will be aboard again this year, for their third Race Week.

"We've loved every minute of our previous Race Weeks," Melling said. "The sailing was something special, and the camaraderie onshore second to none. Everything about this regatta makes every one of the 1000 nautical miles we cover to be there worthwhile.

"The guys who raced with me in Sydney are a keen bunch of blokes so we'll certainly be having at crack at going one better than the second place we scored in Division Three last time."

The entry list for this year's series, which will be staged from August 17 - 24, continues to grow at a rate exceeding that of 2016 when a record 253 yachts were entered for the series.

Tickets for the onshore program during Hamilton Island Race Week 2019 went on sale earlier this month. 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: www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

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