Fleet of 250 likely for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016

With entries closing in just three days, it is becoming increasingly likely an “astonishing” fleet of 250, possibly more, will be registered for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016.

A fleet of 250 is expected in 2016

“It is an amazing achievement,” said the regatta’s long-serving Race Director, Denis Thompson, today after the 246th entry was lodged. “It confirms Race Week offers everything that the vast majority of monohull and multihull sailors are looking for in a regatta – great sailing, exceptional camaraderie, perfect parties and absolute fun.”

Thompson added that he was expecting the fleet to reach 250 – 23 more than the previous record which was established at the 25th anniversary Race Week in 2008.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 will be staged from August 20 to 27 on courses set around deserted tropical islands in Queensland’s Whitsunday region. This will be the 33rd staging of the acclaimed event.

This year’s series will also include the Australian Yachting Championships for Grand Prix level monohulls and multihulls.

The 246th entry to be registered came from colourful Sydney sailing identity Ray Roberts. He has chartered the Sydney 38, The Goat, renamed it Team Hollywood and entered the Passage Rating class of the Australian Yachting Championships. The two smallest entries to date are just 6.5 metres long: Hydraplay (Justin Hickey) and Monkey Business (Jon Rowe)

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.

Audi Australia returns as the naming right sponsor of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week for an incredible eleventh year. Throughout the past decade of partnership, Audi and Hamilton Island have worked hand-in-hand to create the most impressive sailing regatta in Australia, with even more activities on offer for sailors and onshore guests alike. This shared vision is based on a joint passion for winning performance, technological innovation and spirited competition. 

Major ocean yacht race rescheduled for Gold Coast finish

One of the major annual ocean yacht races on Australia’s east coast, the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race, has been rescheduled to finish on the Gold Coast in January 2017.

The race organisers at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, in Sydney, have announced the change after officials at Southport Yacht Club, at Main Beach, agreed to host the finish of the 370 nautical mile event, which will start on January 2.

It is anticipated that the race will bring well over one thousand sailors, their families and friends to the Gold Coast.

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club contacted Southport Yacht Club to discuss the club hosting the finish after it became apparent that damage caused to Coffs Harbour marina when a severe east coast low hit the region earlier this month might not be repaired in time for the finish of their long-standing event in January.

Secret Mens Business competing in the Coffs to Paradise Race 2013

Coffs Harbour’s marina and marina office and other local businesses suffered infrastructure damage when giant waves crashed over the northern breakwall during the peak of the June storm. At the time ABC Coffs Coast reported the force of the waves broke finger-wharves from their moorings and destroyed part of the timber boardwalk that provide access to yachts berthed at the marina.

Given the damage and the risk it won’t be repaired in time for the fleet’s arrival in early January, the RPAYC board of directors has confirmed the 2017 New Year race will be renamed the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race and finish off Main Beach.

The event will start from the traditional start line just north of Palm Beach Headland, at the entrance to Pittwater, at 1pm on January 2, 2017. The new course to Southport will add an extra 145nm to the usual course length.

Commodore of RPAYC, Ian Audsley, said, “We enjoy a partnership with Coffs Harbour Yacht Club and community spanning 35 years and we reached out to them immediately after the worst of the storm to express our heartfelt concern. We recognise their disappointment with the board’s decision, particularly after steps taken to initiate remediation of the marina, however we need to assure boat owners well in advance there are suitable facilities at the finish to accommodate them”.

The Southport Yacht Club with the stunning Gold Coast as its back drop

“Southport has welcomed the opportunity to host the finish in January 2017 and I’m sure it will be an outstanding success,” the Commodore added.

Southport Yacht Club, which hosts the finish of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual mid-winter Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, has embraced the idea of finishing the 2017 race as they too had recently made the difficult decision to cancel their Coffs Harbour to Paradise.

Southport Yacht Club Commodore, Phil Short said, said that while the club empathises with the Coffs Harbor Yacht Club and the local marina operators, he was pleased that Southport Yacht Club could fill the breach.

“Our club is renowned for its hospitality and excellent marina facilities,” Commodore Short said, “so we are looking forward to hosting the participants and race supporters in January.”

The Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race dovetails into SYC’s Bartercard Sail Paradise series. Instead of the RPAYC conducting a program of short races once the fleet arrives, as they do for the annual Pittwater to Coffs Race race, the Southport fleet can simply roll straight into the SYC’s existing Bartercard Sail Paradise Regatta starting Wednesday January 11.

For more information please contact Bronwen Hemmings at Southport Yacht Club on (07) 5591 3500 or via Marketing.Manager@southportyachtclub.com.au