Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Iconic sailing trophies on display

Bob Oatley, James Spithill and Iain Murray with the America’s Cup - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
Belinda Rolland ©
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - For the first time ever, two of the most significant trophies in the sport of sailing, have been displayed together. The America’s Cup and the Admiral’s Cup are on show this week at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

The oldest trophy in the history of international sport, the America’s Cup, arrived on Hamilton Island yesterday afternoon. The cup flew to Australia from San Francisco in a first-class passenger seat. The visit coincides with the 160th anniversary of the first awarding of the Cup in 1851.

This is only the third time that the Cup has been seen in Australia, so its presence at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is high recognition of the stature that this regatta now holds on the international sailing scene.

The Admiral’s Cup is currently defended by Australia and Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club after Bob Oatley’s yacht Wild Oats won it in 2003.

Last night, at sunset, at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, both Cups were revealed from their travelling boxes.

'The America’s Cup travels in a very large Louis Vuitton box which captures great attention at the airport,' said Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club Tom Ehman who travelled to Australia, with the Cup and two security officers.

Hamilton Island Chairman Sandy Oatley said it was one of his life’s pleasures to have both of the Cups together on the island.

'We are extremely honoured to have the America’s Cup at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week,' he said.

'Hamilton Island is already well recognised across the world as an award winning holiday destination, and now the presence of the America’s Cup at Race Week confirms we are also well recognised as an international destination for sailing and boating.'

The America’s Cup is currently held by San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club after it was won by Larry Ellison’s giant trimaran, BMW Oracle, in a series against the Swiss defender, Alinghi, in Spain last year. Thirty one year old Australian James Spithill skippered Ellison’s yacht.

The America’s Cup visit to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week was organised by Iain Murray, the Commodore of Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Murray is also the CEO and Regatta Director for the next America’s Cup match, which will be staged in San Francisco in 2013. Murray’s direct association with the America’s Cup spans almost 30 years. In that time he has been credited with making significant contributions towards the development of the event, particularly through yacht design and development.

During Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Iain Murray and the Vice-Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, Tom Ehman, will be speaking at forums about the America’s Cup as an event, and the exciting new catamarans that will be competing in the 34th match in 2013.

Audi Hamilton Island Race week website