One of Australia's most popular yachting events...
Every year in August, Australia's beautiful Whitsunday Islands play host to the Hamilton Island Race Week. Race Week is one of Australia's most popular yachting competitions, and an internationally renowned event. The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 will take place from 19-27 August 2011, and yachts from all over the country will gather to race in the temperate waters of the Whitsundays. The Race Week is the premier keelboat regatta in Australia, and the Whitsundays is one of the greatest sailing regions in the world. Top quality racing, spectacular scenery, and shore-side social activities make for a party atmosphere for all to enjoy.
About Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, with a complete range of facilities including plenty of accommodation, dining and activities, including the new revered 18-hole golf course. The Hamilton Island Yacht Club and marina play host to the regatta during Race Week. Many race entrants and spectators choose to stay onboard their boats at the Hamilton Island marina during Race Week, and facilities there include internet, laundry and showers. There are also restaurants and bars, and during Race Week the marina becomes party central, as the competitors celebrate their yacht race victories. Hamilton Island accommodation is in great demand for race week, so it is a good idea to book in advance. Accommodation on Hamilton Island includes the ultra-luxurious qualia - a five-star retreat named as one of the hottest new luxury properties in the world by Conde Nast Traveller UK & US. Another prime Hamilton Island resort is the Hamilton Island Beach Club, a tranquil resort built for couples. Other accommodation options on the island include the popular 4-star Reef View Hotel, as well as more affordable self catering apartments and holiday homes.
The 2011 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will feature a large number of events both on and off the water. The vibrant programme of off-water events will include organised dinners, lunches, live music and entertainment, as well as wine-tasting, fashion shows, and tennis and golf events. Visitors and spectators will enjoy the fun carnival atmosphere off the water, with events to entertain everyone. Sailing and yacht races is what Race Week is all about, and with races in a number of different classes taking place every day, spectators can enjoy non-stop action. Racing is split into a number of different classes including IRC Grand Prix class for top class racers, IRC Passage class for modern fast cruising yachts, Performance Racing class, and the Sports Boat class which includes corporate and bareboat racing. In addition to the race winners in each division, another prize – the 'Prix d'Elegance' will be awarded for the 'Best Presented Yacht', and also the 'Best Fun-Themed Yacht and Crew', with prizes awarded to category winners at the Hamilton Island Race Week Trophy presentation dinner at the end of the week. In a comical bid to win the Best Fun-Themed Prix d'Elegance during the 2008 Race Week, the crew from Top Gear Australia tried their luck with an amphibious converted Audi!
More Exciting Than Ever Before
With the addition of a new racing division for superyachts in 2010, Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 is expected to be more exciting than ever before, . The superyacht division is expected to attract more well-known international entrants, and these impressive giants will dazzle spectators with their size and grandeur. With the inclusion of the superyacht division, the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week now covers the full range of keelboat sailing from the smallest cruising yachts to the biggest superyachts.
Hamilton Island is a premier tourist destination at any time of year, and is easily accessible for visitors with its domestic passenger jet terminal. Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue all fly to Hamilton Island with direct daily flights from most major cities in Australia. Visitors can also fly to the Whitsundays airport in Proserpine which is often cheaper. Regional charter flights can also be organized from Mackay, Proserpine and Airlie Beach, and Hamilton Island has a good ferry connection to the mainland with frequent services throughout the day. Easier still, if you have your own boat, you can sail straight in to the marina at Hamilton Island where you will find a welcoming berth!Hero Image photo "Hamilton Island Race Week 2010" - By andy_tyler