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The crew aboard the local Whitsunday charter yacht, Hammer of Queensland, took top honours in the “Best Presented crew” category of the Prix d’Elegance at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016. © Andrea Francolini http://www.afrancolini.com/
The crew aboard the local Whitsunday charter yacht, Hammer of Queensland, took top honours in the “Best Presented crew” category of the Prix d’Elegance at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016. © Andrea Francolini http://www.afrancolini.com/

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Smart thinking and creative genius can win two special prizes at AHIRW

Two of the 200-plus crews sailing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week this month can claim a spectacular prize without winning a race.

All they need do is apply their smartest creative thinking to theming their yacht then be judged the best participants in one of the two categories of the highly popular Prix d’Elegance, a pre-race event scheduled for Thursday, August 24.

To make participation worthwhile, Hamilton Island Race Week sponsors, Audi, and Hamilton Island’s luxurious retreat, qualia, are providing the magnificent prizes for the owners of the winning yachts in each category. Audi is offering an amazing driving experience – the use of one of their most impressive vehicles for a weekend – while qualia will welcome the winners to a superb weekend escape for two.

Also, there will be special trophies awarded to the two category winners.

The Prix d’Elegance, or in some cases the not so elegant, is a contest that has been an integral part of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week since 2007. The concept makes it an entertaining challenge for the crews while providing considerable entertainment for the spectators gathered on the Flag Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

There are two categories in the Prix d’Elegance:

The Best-Presented Yacht: The yacht is perfectly presented and the crew in matching uniforms lining the deck etc. Yachts can be subtly themed.

Best-Themed Yacht: We have had political satire, tropical island settings, bubble baths, a wedding and even Michael Jackson as themes for this section.

The crew of the catamaran Robin was outstanding when it came to the “Best Themed” category of the Prix d’Elegance at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016. Andrea Francolini http://www.afrancolini.com/

The crew of the catamaran Robin was outstanding when it came to the “Best Themed” category of the Prix d’Elegance at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016. Andrea Francolini http://www.afrancolini.com/

Judging will take place off of Hamilton Island Yacht Club’s flag deck (where the judges will be located) between 0900hrs and 1000hrs. The timing is scheduled so all crews have ample opportunity to be judged then return to their dock if necessary, get back into racing mode and reach their respective start lines in time for racing that day.

“The Prix d’Elegance is a wonderful, fun part of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that everyone enjoys,” said the regatta’s Race Director, Denis Thompson. “We are amazed each year by the lengths the crews go to in their endeavours to be declared the winners of this highly entertaining event.”

Each category winner will be presented with their trophy and prizes at the Race Week’s gala prize-giving dinner on Saturday, August 26.

All information relating to the regatta is on the event website.

by Rob Mundle

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