Chirping bird coming to Hamo
A BENETEAU Cyclades 45 named Chirping Bird is the 100th entry for this year's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
The boat belongs to enthusiastic cruising and off-the-beach sailor Rod Smallman, who owns and operates a small boutique winery on Stumpy Gully Road, on the Mornington Peninsula.
Smallman jokingly claims that Chirping Bird is named in honour of his wife Mim "who has been known to get a little chirpy after a few of our wines".
Smallman, who has been sailing all his life, has Chirping Bird operating as a Whitsunday charter yacht, however, in August each year the yacht is taken out of charter for one reason - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
From August 17-25 this year, Smallman, Chirping Bird and a crew of family and friends, will be lining up for the yacht's third consecutive race week.
"Apart from going to somewhere that's about ten degrees warmer than being in Melbourne and enjoying some great sailing, the best thing about Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is being on what we call 'the social arm' - the marina arm where all the like-minded yachties are docked. The atmosphere there is nothing short of fantastic: it's all about the parties," Smallman said.
"For us, race week can be likened to playing golf. You play a good shot and that brings you back for another game.
At Hamilton Island, because we have so much fun we make sure before we leave each year that we book a marina berth for the following year."
The race week fleet has jumped to 109 since Chirping Bird's entry was lodged. The regatta is open to a wide spectrum of sailboats - from sport boats to cruising yachts, cruiser-racers and Grand Prix level keelboats, plus high-performance multihulls. Nearly 200 yachts are expected to compete.
For more information visit www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.