Hamo Race Week is a family affair
THE frigid waters of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin are becoming a distant memory for Danielle Hutcheson as she prepares to enjoy the tropical warmth that will come at the 34th staging of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week next month.
Danielle learned to sail on the lake as a 10-year-old but 19 years later her priority is to enjoy the tropical winter warmth experienced at race week on an annual basis.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is also part of an adventure that brings the entire Hutcheson family together.
While Danielle will be racing the Sydney 32, Onyx, in the racer-cruiser division, her parents, Dave and Helen Hutcheson, will be competing in the multihull cruising class with their Seawind 11.6 catamaran, Tropical Sunset.
That crew will also include two of Danielle’s uncles.
“This is my third consecutive Race Week,” Danielle said.
“And it won’t be my last. I’m amazed by how this regatta goes to the extreme and offers everything there is to be enjoyed about sailing.
“Deserted islands, warm trade winds, great courses and an amazingly vibrant onshore atmosphere. But for me, sailor that I am, the most exciting thing about being at Hamilton Island comes when you are among a mass of boats in a spinnaker start in Dent Passage, just off the yacht club.”
Danielle’s parents moved the family to the Gold Coast 12 years ago, and soon after she was sailing on a regular basis out of Southport Yacht Club.
She has been racing Onyx offshore since her father purchased it two years ago, but her enthusiasm for offshore racing has gone beyond that.
Last Easter, she competed in her first 308-nautical mile Brisbane to Gladstone race and was subsequently named the recipient of the Women in Yachting award for her role in the crew of the yacht, Turbulence.
The number of yachts entered for this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week exceeded the magic 200 figure this week.
The regatta will be staged from August 19-26.
SET SAIL: The Sydney 32, Onyx, competes at the 2016 Hamilton Island Race Week.