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Hamilton Island Race Week

Hamilton Island Race Week


The internationally acclaimed Hamilton Island Race Week will be contested on the tropical waters around Hamilton Island from August 19 to 26.

Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival. Every August, spectators and yachties from around the globe sail to Hamilton Island for Hamilton Island Race Week, Australia’s largest offshore keelboat 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.

West Australian yachtsman Rob Appleyard recently returned to sailing after a period away from the sport. Originally, he planned to charter a boat but that proved challenging, then the idea of buying hit him during a bout of illness and boredom. Appleyard spotted a Fast 40+ in Turkey that appeared to fit the bill, until he made the trip overseas. While he was travelling, one hit the market — remarkably, back in his hometown of Fremantle. “Finally, after many decades, I’ll be [at the Hamilton Island Race Week] and be part of the Rating Series.”

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 as its debut regatta.

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

“We are delighted to once again welcome back sailors and supporters to Hamilton Island Race Week,” said Peter Brulisauer, Hamilton Island CEO. “This event embodies our island’s passion for sailing, world-class hospitality and celebrates our stunning natural surrounds. We are committed to providing an exceptional experience for all participants, and we look forward to witnessing the competitive spirit and camaraderie that this event fosters among the sailing community.”

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. Adding to the excitement in 2023 is a vibrant Mexican fiesta at TAKO, hosted by Casamigos Tequila.

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

Tickets for the highly sought-after onshore program are on sale at:

Perfectly situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, among Queensland’s 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.


Published in print July-September 2023