Tro­phies for any­one to win

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

AS THE fleet size for this year’s Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week climbs be­yond 180 boats, it has been con­firmed that there will again be two tro­phies on of­fer that any com­pet­ing crew can win.

These stylish tro­phies will go to the win­ners of the Prix d’El­e­gance, an event where crews go to great lengths to dis­play their creative ge­nius in one of the two cat­e­gories – ei­ther the best pre­sented or best themed yacht.

The best pre­sented yacht means the en­try must be per­fectly pre­sented, with the crew in match­ing uni­forms lin­ing the deck.

Mean­while past en­tries to the best themed cat­e­gory have in­cluded po­lit­i­cal satire, trop­i­cal is­land set­tings, bub­ble baths and even Michael Jackson themes. The Prix d’El­e­gance will be staged be­fore the start of rac­ing on Fri­day, Au­gust 23.

Over the years this all-in event has proven to be a boat­load of fun for com­peti­tors, and high entertainment for the spec­ta­tors watch­ing from the shore.

One of the lead­ing con­tenders in the “Best Themed” cat­e­gory will no doubt be Holy Cow, owned by Race Week stal­warts John and Kim Clin­ton. This year they will be out to win the tro­phy for an un­prece­dented third time. Two years ago their theme was “Fifty Shades of Green”, while last year they de­cided to fol­low Clive Palmer’s lead and form their own po­lit­i­cal party, “The Holy Cow Party”.

Judg­ing takes place from the Flag Deck at the Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club. As each themed yacht departs Hamil­ton Har­bour and heads out to rac­ing that day, they cruise past the yacht club so their ef­forts can be con­sid­ered by the judges and ap­plauded by the spec­ta­tors.

Race direc­tor De­nis Thomp­son said the Prix d’El­e­gance was an in­te­gral part of the fun of Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week.

“[And] ev­ery year it’s amaz­ing to see what lengths crews go to in their at­tempt to win,” he said.

BEST THEMED: Holy Cow, pic­tured at last year's Prix d'El­e­gance, will no doubt be a strong con­tender for this year's event. Photo by Andrea Francolini / Audi.

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