by Rob Mundle
Entries have already been lodged for this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week – eight months before the celebrated regatta begins on August 17.
Condor heading for the finish - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
And, as is almost always the case, it is the highly enthusiastic cruising sailors who are leading the way.
The Notice of Race for this year’s event was posted on the regatta website – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au – only a matter of days before the first four entries were received.
Three yachts – Dave Molloy’s maxis, Condor and Hammer of Queensland, plus Graeme Poole’s vintage Adams 13 design, Kickatinalong – were nominated for the Cruising Division while Ivor Burgess, from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, registered his Beneteau Oceanis 423, Still Dangerous, for the Non-Spinnaker Cruising Division. This is the second consecutive year that Condor has been the first yacht to enter Race Week.
It is anticipated that this year’s 29th edition of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will see a fleet of around 200 yachts competing on exciting, and spectacularly scenic, courses around many of the 74 magnificent tropical Whitsunday islands that surround Hamilton Island.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is recognised as being unique in the world of yachting: many internationally acclaimed sailors have confirmed there is nothing to compare with the venue, the racing and the good times to be enjoyed on shore. The social activities cater to the full spectrum of sailors and visitors – from Five-Star events at the island’s exclusive qualia resort, and sumptuous dinners at Hamilton Island Yacht Club, through to energetic waterfront dance parties. There is also the opportunity to play a round or two of golf on the island’s superbly designed championship course.
Details of the complete sailing and social agenda for Race Week will be announced shortly, however, it has already been confirmed that the Audi IRC Australian Championship will be a stand-alone event at Race Week this year, and that there will be a division for sailing superyachts.
Also, following the excitement and success that came via the presence of the ORMA 60 trimaran, Team Vodafone, at last year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, it has been decided to establish a Super Multihull Class this year. It will be a division for Offshore Multihull Rule rated yachts over 15 metres in length.
Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the main partner of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand offers a range of high-end events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.
The Notice of Race, including the entry form, has been posted on the regatta website