As the fleet for Hamilton Island Race Week 2015 continues to grow at a record pace, a new trend is emerging. A sizeable increase in interest in the regatta from ‘highway helmsmen’ – trailable yacht owners.
This unexpected surge of trailable yacht entries has caused Race Week’s Race Director, Denis Thompson, to consider creating a special division for them in this year’s regatta, which will be staged from August 15 to 22.
“We’re really happy to see this spike in entries from trailable yacht owners,” Denis Thompson said. “They are realising that Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is a perfect tropical regatta for them to enjoy, and it’s not difficult to be there no matter what state they are from. They need only head along the highway with their boat in tow, and in no time they are at Hamilton Island and ready to race.
“If we see a few more trailable yachts entered for this year I’ll be more than pleased to organise a division for them, and set special courses around the islands in the Whitsundays.
“Many of those trailable yacht owners who have already entered intend making the most of their visit: They are planning to cruise the Whitsundays for a week or more either before, or after, Race Week.”
Organisers believe that, apart from enjoying some of the most competitive and scenic sailing in the world, competitors are also attracted to Hamilton Island Race Week 2015 by more than 60 different on-shore social activities, from dockside parties and dancing to live bands on the waterfront, through to five-star functions.
The fleet continues to grow at a rate that is near 15 per cent better than for the same time in previous years. On current projections around 200 sailboats of all shapes and sizes – including high performance and cruising multihulls – will be part of what is Australia’s premiere offshore regatta.
All information relating to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2015, including the Notice of Race and Entry Form, is on the regatta website www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au
– Rob Mundle