Countdown on to join Hamilton Island Race Week festivities

The countdown is on for boat owners to secure their spot at Hamilton Island Race Week, where thousands of sailors will gather from August 19 to 26.

The fleet is edging towards the 200-boat mark. So far New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, and New Zealand are represented on the growing entry list for the popular winter destination regatta.

Gearing up for an epic first Race Week is Tony and Vesna Wells’ Shaw 12 named Blink, which first must face the 1,800 nautical mile delivery from Wellington, New Zealand. The Wells have allowed themselves a week to ten days for the journey, emphasising the importance of reaching the start line first. Anything beyond that is a bonus says Tony.

Marcus Blackmore’s team know all about the adrenaline of getting to the starting blocks. His newest TP52 won’t be ready by August so Blackmore, a big fan of Race Week, bought an interim RP52 built in New Zealand as Pinta. Renamed Ammonite, the build is being frantically completed before the cruiser-racer is shipped to Australia for sea trials and tuning, with Race Week its debut regatta.

Rivalries will be reignited at Hamilton Island as crews aboard the Oatley family’s maxi Wild Oats XI and the Winning family’s Andoo Comanche prepare to do battle for line honours glory.

Tickets for the highly sought-after onshore program will go on sale at hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au on June 20. Indulge in Race Week traditions such as the Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch and the Charles Heidsieck Champagne Luncheon at qualia, which are perennial favourites and sell out quickly. Adding to the excitement in 2023 is a vibrant Mexican fiesta at TAKO, hosted by Casamigos Tequila.

Sailors can head to Hamilton Island Yacht Club daily for complimentary coffee and over at F and G arm, the famous post-race sausage sizzle followed by sundowners on the yacht club Bommie Deck. Scott Maggs and his vital skin check clinics return for the sixth year to provide free skin checks to sailors. Be sure to book your session in advance via skincheckchampions.com/hirw

If you haven’t yet secured your Race Week accommodation, Hamilton Island Holiday Homes still have availability. Visit the website to secure your booking.

The Hamilton Island Race Week Notice of Race and entry details are available on the website. Don’t miss the entry deadline of 23:59hrs on August 9.

@hamiltonislandraceweek @hamiltonisland

Nic Douglass – Sailing Content Manager – 0402 454 885 | nic@nicdouglass.org

Lisa Ratcliff Specialist Content Creator – 0418 428 511 | lisa@occ.net.au

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