252 yachts set for Hamilton Island Race Week

A record 252 yachts have entered for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016, which starts on August 20.

The remarkable fleet, which represents the full spectrum of offshore capable yachts, is 25 more than the previous record of 227 which was established in 2008 – the regatta’s 25th anniversary series. The largest competing yacht is 30 metres long and the smallest just 6.5 metres.

As is always the case, the strongest fleet numerically is the cruising yacht division; 37 are entered in the non-spinnaker category while 98 are classified as general cruising yachts. There are 46 cruising and racing multihulls also competing. The Australian Yachting Championship has attracted 54 monohulls and 15 multihulls.
Of the smaller entries, 17 are trailables, the majority of which are being towed great distances to be at the regatta.

On a state by state breakdown, New South Wales tops the list with 96 entries, Queensland 86, Victoria 51, Tasmania and South Australia five each, Western Australia four and the ACT one. Three international entries have also nominated.

“It is a phenomenal fleet,” said Audi Hamilton Island Race Week’s Race Director, Denis Thompson today. “It is certainly going to provide some logistical challenges for us, but I am sure we will be able to handle them.

“One of those challenges will be to organise the racing so that the entire fleet isn’t required to assemble in the same area each day, especially for the starts we have off Hamilton Island Yacht Club. It is going to be a big task for the race management team to ensure everything runs smoothly, but as they have proved over so many years, they will handle it.”

Despite this remarkably large fleet, Hamilton Island’s Harbour Master, James Burrell, is unfazed: “We have spent more than $2 million this year expanding the superyacht docking facilities within the harbour, and this means that all Race Week yachts will have their own dock space; no one will be required to raft-up,” he said.
“Despite the great number, the entire fleet will be accommodated inside the harbour.”

The Notice of Race and entry form for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 are now posted on the website, www.audihamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

The regatta – Australia’s largest offshore sailing series – caters for a remarkably wide range of sailboats: from sportboats and trailables through to Grand Prix level keelboats, maxi and supermaxi yachts, cruising yachts of all sizes and configuration, and multihulls.

Pictured: Sailing to the finish – Audi Hamilton Island Race Week