Mark re­turns to beloved Hamo Race Week as the 100th en­trant

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT ON THE WATER - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

THE en­try list for Audi Hamilton Is­land Race Week 2017 has passed the mag­i­cal 100 mark and con­tin­ues to climb at an im­pres­sive rate.

Early in­di­ca­tions are that while the fleet might not match last year’s record of 252 it could come close.

Syd­ney yachts­man Mark Michalowsky was the 100th en­trant for the re­gatta, re­turn­ing af­ter a 10-year ab­sence with his Beneteau 47.7, Calra M.

“The de­sire to re­turn to Race Week has al­ways been there, but un­til this year busi­ness obli­ga­tions have caused it to be just that – a de­sire,” he said.

“I bought the yacht in Spain in 2000, had it sailed to Aus­tralia, then com­peted at Race Week in 2004, and again a decade ago, but that’s where it ended. For­tu­nately I’ve fi­nally got my busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties sorted out so I can now get back to spend­ing more time sail­ing.”

Mr Michalowsky stressed that he is an “around-the-cans man” who loves com­pet­ing in twi­light races more than any­thing else.

“I’ve only done one overnight race, a 17-miler from Syd­ney to Pittwa­ter a long time ago. Since then it has been all about cruis­ing divi­sion races.”

His favourite mem­ory of his last Audi Hamilton Is­land Race Week was, “Jimmy Barnes rock­ing the night away on the water­front”.

And, apart from en­joy­ing some su­perb, around-the-is­lands rac­ing in the trop­ics this year, he is look­ing for­ward to the ca­ma­raderie of the post-race cock­pit par­ties which were the highlight for him last time he par­tic­i­pated.

Ger­man lux­ury car­maker, Audi, is re­turn­ing for the 12th year as prin­ci­pal spon­sor.

Audi Hamilton Is­land Race Week is sched­ule for Au­gust 19-26. All in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the re­gatta is on the web­site au­di­hamil­ton­is­land race­week.com.au

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

ON TRACK: Hamo Race Week has signed up more than 100 en­trants.

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