Australia’s premier offshore regatta, Hamilton Island Race Week, will enter an exciting new era with the staging of the 35th edition of the event in August this year.
A wider range of courses around the tropical Whitsunday islands and a full spectrum of outstanding social activities will form the foundation for this year’s regatta which will be staged from August 18 to 25.
Also, it has been jointly announced that after twelve outstanding years as the principal partner for Hamilton Island Race Week, Audi Australia will not be returning as the naming rights sponsor this year.
In recognising Audi’s lengthy involvement with Race Week, Hamilton Island’s CEO, world champion and Olympic yachtsman Glenn Bourke, said: “Hamilton Island would like to thank Audi Australia for their immense contribution to the success of Race Week over the years. It has been a long and valuable association for both sides.”
The regatta’s Race Director Denis Thompson has also announced a change to the racing format on the basis of a competitor review. This year participants will enjoy more passage racing around islands. The announcement coincides with the posting of the Notice of Race and entry form on the regatta website.
No one will be surprised if long-time Race Week supporter, Dave Molloy of the Whitsunday based yacht charter company Prosail, is the first to enter this year with the famous 37-year-old maxi yacht Condor. Molloy has already declared Condor will return for its 11th Race Week with a crew of 17 amateur sailors. When launched in Europe in 1981, Condor was the world’s most technologically advanced ocean racing yacht and went on to win every one of the world’s major offshore races.
Hamilton Island Race Week has always attracted an impressive cross-section of yachts from around Australia and overseas.
They range from small trailables – some of which have been towed half-way across the continent to compete – through to cruising yachts, Grand Prix racers, luxury superyachts and 30-metre long supermaxis. The strong multihull fleet has been similarly diverse.
The largest Race Week fleet came in 2016 with 252 entries and the strength of early interest from yacht owners points to a similar number in 2018.
by Lisa Ratcliff