Audi Hamilton Island’s Race Week finishes up this weekend, closing out its 31st year.
It’s the annual sailing event which draws in some of the country’s top execs and talented sailers for a week of both on and off water action.
The 182 strong fleet have jetted in from all around Australia – and the world – for the regatta which is a firm fixture on many yachtie’s racing calendars.
“It’s a great place to sail, there’s sunshine and whales,” Blackmore’s boss Marcus Blackmore told Business Insider.
Sailors zipping around the edge of the Great Barrier Reef include 1983 America’s Cup winner on Australia II Rob Brown who is passing on his expertise to some upstarts from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron as well as Macquarie Bank founding director Robin Crawford and Blackmore.
“We’ve got all these guys that are usually good in business, so they have enough money to buy the boat and now they’re being tested on the water,” Blackmore said.
In his division – the MC38s – the owner must steer the boat, which are all almost identical.
Blackmore said this week there was one race where five boats finished within 14 seconds – so it’s a real test of tactics and strategy on the water.
It’s not just about sailing in the beautiful Whitsundays – there has been a lot happening onshore as well, with cocktail parties, fashion parades and exclusive dinners being hosted around the Oatley family’s island.
Since last Saturday there have been Paspaley Pearl luncheons, Net-A-Porter fashion parades, and bunch of golf buggy traffic jams.
“It depends how much energy you’ve got – there’s a lot happening on the island,” Blackmore said.
With all the onshore events and luxury boats stalking the racers, Audi Race Week is now just as much about the spectators as it is about the sailing.
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