New Hamilton Island Yacht Club

New Hamilton Island Yacht Club

An exhibition recognising some of the great milestones and achievements in sailing in Australia will be the centrepiece of activities planned for the official opening of Hamilton Island’s new yacht club during Audi Hamilton Island Race Week later this month.

The new Hamilton Island Yacht Club facility will be declared open on August 21, the eve of the 26th staging of Race Week, one of Australia’s most popular keelboat regattas.

With Captain James Cook having sailed the waters that surround what is now Hamilton Island during his voyage of discovery in 1770, club officials decided that it would be appropriate to have a large and highly detailed model of Cook’s ship, HMS Endeavour, taking pride of place within the new building. This model, they said, was commissioned from a prominent model-maker in England, and will be delivered to its new home this week to take centre stage for the exhibition. In direct contrast will be another large and equally striking model of the super maxi Wild Oats XI, the yacht owned by Hamilton Island’s owner, Bob Oatley, which has taken a historic four consecutive line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race and holds the record time for the course.

The Tribute to Australian Sailing exhibition, which is open for public viewing for the duration of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (August 22 to 29), will recognise Australian victories in the America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup and the Olympics. It will also pay tribute to the feat by Australia’s Kay Cottee when she became the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. Additionally, there will be a permanent display established within the club showing the evolution of offshore yacht design in Australia since the first Sydney-Hobart race in 1945 until today. The 26-year history of Hamilton Island Race Week will also be chronicled.

The design of the building, and its location at the entrance to the harbour, leaves no doubt Hamilton Island Yacht Club will stand proudly alongside some of the world’s great yachting establishments, and the exhibition will be in keeping with that fact, said officials.

Designed by Sydney architect, Walter Barda, the style of the club is said to be inspired by the sweeping curves associated with sailboats. It is located within a waterfront precinct where 35 Yacht Club Villas are nestled amid tropical gardens.

The first release of the luxury Villas off-the-plan are reported to have achieved unprecedented sales success. The second release is timed to coincide with Race Week. Officials said each Villa owner will be granted a Founding Membership to the Yacht Club with access to an array of amenities and services.

The club’s facilities, which are described as being world-class, include a contemporary indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar overlooking the marina, and private dining and function rooms offering water and island views, including the Whitsunday Passage.

Regatta organisers said the official opening of Hamilton Island Yacht Club will be one of many social activities that will support the unique and exciting around-island racing that comes with Race Week.

More than 190 yachts from across Australia and New Zealand are entered for Race Week. Officials said the fleet represents a diverse cross-section of sailboats, from casual cruising yachts competing in the non-spinnaker division through to comfortable family cruiser-racers and the absolute Formula One equivalent of offshore racing thoroughbreds.

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