Hamilton Island race week has been a highlight of the Australian racing calendar since 1983. It was conceived by David Hutcheon who moved to the Whitsundays with his yacht “Banjo Patterson” which still operates from Hamilton Island as a charter boat. He joined with the then owner of the island Keith Williams to host an annual sailing. regatta. The first race year was in 1984 and a fleet of 93 boats participated. Originally race week was held in April however for better weather conditions it has been moved to August and has been run then since 1992. The race is now one of the most important yachting events on the Australian yacht racing calendar and has more participants than any other regatta.
Race week consists of four major races and there are up to nine classes of boats allowed to participate. These classes mean that the yachts pitted against other yachts of equal calibre to ensure the fairest results. Both racing yachts and cruising yachts are welcome to join in the fun. All IRC handicapped boats must hold a valid IRC rating certificate.
Most people live aboard their yacht at Hamilton Island marina during race week however Hamilton Island resort can assist with accommodation for those who wish to stay ashore. Many berth at the marina which becomes a really busy place. Facilities at the marina include showers, toilets, laundry, internet and repairs. You do not need to book a berth during race week however there will always be a certain amount of rafting required due to the large numbers of participants. Marina berths are free for contestants.
If you need any further information about race week don’t hesitate to ask us and we can also help to arrange things like resort stays if you require. Hamilton Island Race Week is a special event not to be missed by any serious yachtsman so come and have a great time. Sunsail Yacht Charters have bareboats available for you to charter during race week which makes a great live aboard and viewing platform option.