Mul­ti­hulls set to join Hamo fleet

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

MUL­TI­HULLS will be­come a per­ma­nent fea­ture at Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week (AHIRW), from the 30th stag­ing of the award-win­ning event be­tween Au­gust 17-24.

Hamil­ton Is­land’s CEO and Olympic and world cham­pion sailor, Glenn Bourke, said the de­ci­sion to open the re­gatta to mul­ti­hulls was pos­si­ble due to re­cently com­plet­ing a new 40-berth ma­rina arm in the is­land’s har­bour, ideal for cata­ma­rans and tri­marans.

“Hav­ing mul­ti­hulls as part of Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week has been on our agenda for some time,” Bourke said.

“How­ever, it has not been un­til now, with the new ma­rina arm com­pleted, that we’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to of­fer the right fa­cil­i­ties for them within Hamil­ton Is­land’s har­bour,” he said.

“In re­cent years we have had the ORMA 60s, Team Aus­tralia and Team Voda­fone, rac­ing within the fleet and they have re­ally im­pressed ev­ery­one.”

“Now, in what we see as an­other sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the re­gatta, we are in a po­si­tion to have all el­i­gi­ble mul­ti­hulls be­come part of the fleet.”

Hamil­ton Is­land’s own­ers, the Oatley fam­ily, are also said to be very en­thu­si­as­tic about the change. The fam­ily’s pa- tri­arch Bob Oatley is the owner of the 30-me­tre su­per­maxi Wild Oats XI, which is the Rolex Syd­ney-Ho­bart race record holder.

Equally sup­port­ive is AHIRW race di­rec­tor, Denis Thomp­son.

“I’m hop­ing that many of the mul­ti­hull own­ers who will be rac­ing at Air­lie Beach the week be­fore the start of rac­ing at Hamil­ton Is­land, will make the ef­fort to be with us. It prom­ises to be a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for them,” he said.

More than 130 yachts are now en­tered for this year’s mile­stone re­gatta.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.hamil­ton­is­landrace­

HIGH SPEEDS: The very im­pres­sive New Zealand tri­maran, Team Voda­fone raced at last year’s Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

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