Billionaire coming to Hamo for race week
ONE of the world’s richest men, Ernesto Bertarelli, is heading to Hamilton Island for the 30th anniversary race week from August 17-24.
The 47-year-old Swiss billionaire and two-time winner of the America’s Cup, has chartered Wild Oats X – the 66ft racing yacht belonging to Hamilton Island’s owner Bob Oatley – as his entry for the regatta.
Bertarelli will have some of his America’s Cup team, including Kiwi tactician, Brad Butterworth, sailing with him during the event.
He will also have his impressive 96-metre superyacht, Vava II, at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (AHIRW). The sixdeck motor yacht is on a world cruise to raise funds for YachtAid Global, an organisation supporting humanitarian and environmental causes.
In 2003 Bertarelli, then aged 37, became the first challenger to win the America’s Cup with a first-time campaign. He was also the first person to take the cup – the oldest trophy in the history of sport – to Europe. He then successfully defended the prize against the New Zealand challenger in 2007, but lost to America’s Larry Ellison in a controversial multihull challenge in 2010.
Former Wild Oats X skipper Mark Richards said it would be exciting to see Bertarelli racing at AHIRW.
“Having Ernesto, Brad and the team competing certainly says a lot about race week’s status in the world of yachting,” he said.
Richards, will be steering Oatley’s 30-metre Sydney-Hobart race record holder, Wild Oats XI, at this year’s event.
The two Wild Oats yachts join an impressive cross-section of entries for the 30th anniversary event. Organisers are planning special celebrations this year to ensure the series continues to be recognised as a worldclass regatta, incorporating fun onshore and great racing around the Whitsundays.
SUPERYACHT: Ernesto Bertarelli will be bringing his impressive 96-metre superyacht, Vava II, to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week next month. Photo by Trevor Burrows.
SWISS BILLIONAIRE: Ernesto Bertarelli will be on Hamilton Island for race week.