Fleet of 200 for Hamo
A RUSH of late entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which starts this Saturday, has seen the fleet number surge beyond the magical figure of 200.
Early this week there were 202 entries, making this year’s fleet the second largest Race Week in its 32-year history.
Growth is the result of an exponential rise in the number of multihull entries since the division was added back into the schedule of racing in 2013.
Then a fledgling fleet of five turned out.
This year 31 multis – both racing and cruising – from as far away as Western Australia and South Australia have bolstered the fleet.
The Hamilton Island IRC Australian Championship has proven a huge drawcard for IRC owners, and the introduction of a division for trailables has also attracted interest from that section of the sailing community.
The 200th entry was Victor- ian yachtsman, David Perkins, who entered his Jeanneau 54, Vanilla, in the cruising division.
The good news for Perkins and his crew is that by being the 200th entry they are already Race Week winners.
Regatta organisers will present them with a magnum of Piper-Heidseick champagne to celebrate the milestone.
Hamilton Island’s CEO, Olympic and world champion sailor Glenn Bourke, said Race Week organisers were justifiably proud of the fact that 202 yachts had entered this year.
“This great fleet confirms that Audi Hamilton Island Race Week continues to stand as Australia’s premier offshore regatta, and (is) undoubtedly one of the best sailing events in the world,” Bourke said.
“From our side, we are well aware of the effort all participants, their families and friends, put in, just to be with us each year. It’s this commitment on their part that causes us to work even harder so every Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is bigger, better and more fun.”
For more information visit www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.
STRONG FLEET: Over 200 yachts have now entered the 2015 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Photo Ciaran Handy