One of the world’s fastest sailboats for its size and type will be scorching across the waters off Hamilton Island during next week’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
The AC45 class catamaran is one of the most technologically advanced sailboats of modern times – and probably the fastest sailboat ever to be on the waters of the Whitsundays. It is capable of sailing at more than 35 knots (65 kilometres per hour).
The great news for some of the crew from the 181 yachts entered for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is that they will get the chance to be aboard the catamaran on a demonstration run, and experience high speed sailing like never before.
These exhibition runs will happen on Dent Passage, immediately in front of Hamilton Island Yacht Club, after racing each day.
The AC45 class was designed to provide elite level sailors a smooth transition to the incredibly fast, America’s Cup hydrofoil catamarans. The secret to the AC45’s exceptional speed (for its size) is primarily due to the efficiency of its rig: the mast and mainsail form a single unit – an aerofoil-shaped, low drag, rotating wing. It has flaps on the trailing edge like an aircraft wing.
The hulls and much of the rig are built from ultra-lightweight carbon fibre. This means that while the hulls are 13.5 metres in length, the entire boat weighs only 1300 kilograms.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will be staged from August 16 to 23. The Notice of Race, entry form and regatta information are on the regatta website – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.
– Rob Mundle