Entries running at a record rate for Hamilton Island Race Week
An Australian Championship winning yacht from Melbourne that is the focus for family gatherings on and off the water is the 100th entry for this year's Hamilton Island Race Week, which will be staged from August 17 – 24.
Ikon, owned by well-known yachtsman Bruce McCracken, is a Beneteau First 45 production yacht out of Hobsons Bay Yacht Club. It has been one of the most successful cruiser-racers to compete on Port Phillip over the past decade, the highlight being victory in division 2 of the Australian Yachting Championship both last year and in 2013.
Ikon's entry for Hamilton Island Race Week confirmed that the rate of registrations this year continues to be ahead of that in 2016 when a record fleet of 252 yachts lined up for what was the 33rd staging of the internationally acclaimed regatta.
"Ikon is a real family affair for us," Bruce McCracken said. "On the majority of occasions the crew comprises my wife and me, our children, their spouses and friends. When we won the Australian IRC Championship last year, seven of the 13 crew were family. The latest count tells us that we will have a team of 26 crew, family and supporters with us for Hamilton Island Race Week."
McCracken said that Ikon is at its best in windy weather, so he is looking forward to tropical tradewind sailing at Race Week in August. "This will be the second Race Week for us," McCracken went on to say. "We enjoyed everything about it last time so are destined to have a good time this year."
Regatta director Denis Thompson says the rate of entries for this year's regatta continues to match that of the record year. "The most interesting aspect so far is the number of trailables entered, coming from locations all along the east coast and even Strahan in Tasmania," Thompson said.
Apart from the excitement of racing on courses that take the fleet around the myriad of islands in the Whitsundays, the scheduled layday mid-week provides the crews plus their families and friends with the opportunity to kick up their heels at the big Summer Bright Pool Party. Other highlights of the onshore program include fine dining and champagne at the Charles Heidsieck Luncheon at qualia; golf on the superbly scenic 18-hole course; a day-cruise around the islands or simply relax and take in the sunset from the Bommie Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club.
Special accommodation packages are available now. The options include everything from 3 star to 6-star hotels as well as a range of self-catering holiday homes, which are a great option for crews. Book now https://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/sports-events/hamilton-island-race-week/hot-deals
Hamilton Island Race Week has an impressive history. It was established following Australia's historic victory in the America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1983. The inaugural regatta, staged in April 1984, attracted an outstanding fleet of 92 yachts which came from all points across Australia, including Perth.
The Notice of Race and all details relating to Hamilton Island Race Week 2019 are on the website: https://www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au/
By Rob Mundle
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