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2 Days until Hamilton Island Race Week Sets Sail

By Laura Rancie.

It’s on again! Set sail and keep your compass geared towards August 19 to 26, as the Hamilton Island Race Week returns and we break down for you its wet start, who to watch out for and where to eat. 

It was just after Easter in 1984, that the week-long race debuted with a total of 93 yachts much to the thrill of organisers, Keith Wiliam and Rob Mundle. However, being a tropical destination the climate had other plans in store.
The ‘wet season’ lived up to its name with a downpour of rain for almost the entire seven days. This led to the series being referred to light-heartedly as Hamilton Island Rain Week in the ‘Wetsundays’. The next eight years of the race proved similar because of the wet season, even facing Hurricane Aviu in 1989. As a result, the dates were changed to what we now enjoy in August with great trade-wind sailing conditions. 
2 Days until Hamilton Island Race Week Sets Sail
Hamilton Island Race Week © Salty Dingo 2022

In 2023 the popular destination regatta has drawn entries from NSW, WA, Victoria, Tassie, Queensland and even New Zealand, with a fleet of almost 200 strong.

Let’s start with the Marcus Blackmore team. The Chairman of Blackmores vitamin brand has made it no secret that his greatest passion is competitive sailing. He says: "It is little wonder that the numerous metaphors that align business performance to yachting resonate strongly with me." 

2 Days until Hamilton Island Race Week Sets Sail
Hamilton Island Race Week © Salty Dingo 2022
Marcus’s most recent TP52 wasn’t going to be ready in time for the August start date of Race Week, but being a big fan, he bought an interim RP52. He renamed it, Ammonite, while the build was anxiously constructed with moments to spare ahead of it being shipped to Australia for sea trials and tuning - Race Week will be its first regatta. 

"Sailing and business are both impacted by who is at the helm, the tactics employed, adaptation to changing external conditions, the team's effectiveness, the ability to read the conditions – the analogies are endless," says Marcus. 

Then you’ve got Tony and Vesna Wells from New Zealand - the couple has allowed themselves a good travel time of up to 10 days to get to the start point from their home in Wellington. For them it’s all about the journey, as they emphasise the importance of just making it to the start line. "Anything beyond that is a bonus,” says Tony.
We must also mention old rivalries, as the Oatley family's maxi Wild Oats XI and the Winning family's Andoo Comanche prepare to battle it out for the glory of line honours.

Of course, being the Australian Good Food Guide it is our responsibility to entice you to such wonderful events by mentioning the food lineups, and we are very excited. 
2 Days until Hamilton Island Race Week Sets Sail
Courtney Weldon, 22-08-2022
There are the two big favourites, the Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch and the Charles Heidsieck Champagne Luncheon at Qualia, which always sell out fast. We’re excited to announce new in 2023 our friends at Casamigos Tequila will be collaborating on a Mexican fiesta at TAKO.
Perhaps this year the piece de resistance will be the curated exclusive dinner by Australian-based French Chef, Guillaume Brahimi. He will be showcasing his ‘Sunday best’ using some of Australia’s world-class produce, to be held at the stunning adult-only resort of Qualia. 

All details can be found on the Hamilton Island Race Week website. 

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