The international yachting event, now the largest offshore regatta in Australia, has evolved over the past three decades into a spectacular display of on-water racing paired with the finest epicurean cuisine, exclusive fashion shows, flowing champagne and celebrity guests. 2013 also offers another cause for celebration; the 10th anniversary of the Oatley family's custodianship of Hamilton Island.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week's beautiful Whitsundays' courses attract sailing's elite, and caters for the full spectrum of keelboats - from non-spinnaker cruising yachts through to Grand Prix level racers. With over 135 yachts already entered and dozens more expected in the coming weeks, the carnival is set to be the best yet.
Keeping not only the sailor's family and friends returning year after year, but also attracting travellers in search of a unique winter getaway is the impressive shore-side social calendar. New to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is the Charles-Heidsieck Champagne Lunch. With a 'Hampton's' dress theme guests will dine on a bespoke menu by qualia's executive chef Alastair Waddell, matched with fine Charles-Heidsieck wines.
Another show stopping highlight will be the Collette Dinnigan Resort Show & Cocktail Party; with Hamilton Island the only location outside of Paris that the internationally acclaimed fashion designer shows her collections. The event celebrates the Oatley family's achievements, including multi-award winning qualia resort which is the backdrop for the show, and the notable 30th anniversary.
Audi ambassadors and iconic Australian chefs Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong and Shannon Bennett will each present unique, new gastronomic experiences. Matt Moran will create a beautiful 'Chiswick' inspired garden dinner; while Kylie Kwong's wonderfully relaxed 'dim sum-style'Australian-Chinese Brunch will feature sustainable food principles including edible insects.
To commemorate the 30th year, Shannon Bennett will present '30', an unparalleled dining experience with cuisine by five chefs in their 30's. Bennett will be joined by past and present Vue de monde and Bistro Vue chefs including Cory Campbell, Jack Ingram, Josh Lewis and Darren Purchese.
Flawlessly suited to 30th celebrations are pearls; the traditional gift of a 30th anniversary. The Paspaley Pearl Pursuit and Luncheon begins with an Island-wide treasure hunt with clues and challenges to be followed in order to find a magic key. One key only will open the master pearler's box to reveal the Paspaley treasure within. A glorious lunch served on the sands of Pebble Beach, qualia will follow, created by Alastair Waddell.
Other not to be missed culinary events include creator of Sydney's The Apollo Jonathan Barthelmess presenting his own unique blend of traditional yet innovative Mediterranean cuisine - a slice of Santorini by the beach, while Hamilton Island's own Adam Woodfield, executive chef at modern south-east Asian restaurant coca chu, will deliver a scrumptious Yum Cha Lunch. The Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch will feature patissier extraordinaire Adriano Zumbo and his mastery of pastry, and the Beef & Reef Dinner with the world's fastest sailor, Peter Larson, is set to be a sell out.
Activities and events available to all guests include the new Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Bar at Bommie Deck, Heineken Bar happy hour from 7-8pm daily, Beachside Yoga, Eat Street Food Markets at the Marina, sports challenges including the Audi vehicle tug of war and Stand Up Paddle boarding relay races, the Paspaley Boutique showcasing the exquisite 20 millimeter Paspaley Pearl and twice-daily Pearl Discovery Sessions, and the Henri Lloyd 50th birthday fashion display.
A Raising of the Flag ceremony and firework display at Hamilton Island Yacht Club will officially open the landmark event on Saturday 17 August, led by Queensland's Minister for Tourism, Small Business, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, Hamilton Island's owner, Bob Oatley and Audi Australia's Managing Director, Andrew Doyle.
For more information visit www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.