Rapid rise in en­tries for Hamo race week

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

MORE than 120 yachts have now en­tered the 30th Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week, from Au­gust 17-24.

The 100th en­try came from Cruis­ing Yacht Club of Aus­tralia Com­modore, Howard Pig­gott, with his Beneteau First 40, Fly­ing Cloud – a yacht named af­ter one of the most fa­mous clip­per ships of all time.

This will be Pig­gott’s fifth Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week, a re­gatta he sees as the best pos­si­ble launch­ing pad for the ap­proach­ing sum­mer sea­son of sail­ing.

“The tim­ing is per­fect and the re­gatta it­self is un­sur­passed in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“The ad­ven­ture starts for us with the Syd­ney-Gold Coast race at the end of July, then, from there, it be­comes a leisurely cruise into the trop­ics and on to Hamil­ton Is­land for race week. That’s the real re­ward: su­perb hos­pi­tal­ity, ideal sail­ing con­di­tions, and lots of fun.”

Fly­ing Cloud’s en­try was lodged just sec­onds ahead of an­other en­try from the same club, the cruis­ing yacht Lee­ward, skip­pered by John Quinn.

Since then the rate of en­tries has ac­cel­er­ated rapidly – a trend which race di­rec­tor Denis Thomp­son says con­firms the sta­tus of the re­gatta on the Aus­tralian sail­ing scene.

The cross-sec­tion of en­tries re­ceived so far for is cer­tainly broad. The largest yacht en­tered to date is the su­perbly re­stored 21.8-me­tre clas­sic stay­sail ketch, Sir Thomas Sop­with, owned by Di and David Edwards, from Syd­ney, while the small­est is the 6.2-me­tre high-per­for­mance SB20, Jump, sailed by Dennis Win­stan­ley, from Hamil­ton Is­land.

Lux­ury car­maker Audi, re­turns as the ti­tle spon­sor of Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week in 2013. The Ger­man pre­mium brand will host a range of spe­cial events on the is­land for yacht own­ers and guests to en­joy through­out the week.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.hamil­ton­is­landrace­week.com.au.

Photo by An­drea Francolini.

FLY­ING CLOUD: The Beneteau First 40, Fly­ing Cloud, owned by Cruis­ing Yacht Club of Aus­tralia com­modore, Howard Pig­gott, is the 100th en­try for this year’s 30th Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

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