Record breaking number for Hamo Island Race Week
IN AN amazing achievement, a record 252 yachts have entered Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016.
The number of yachts is 25 more than the previous record of 227, which was set in 2008 in the regatta's 25th anniversary series. The largest competing yacht is 30 metres long and the smallest is 6.5 metres.
With the event starting on August 20, the response has been described as "phenomenal" by organisers.
The largest fleet is the cruising yacht division with 37 entered in the non-spinnaker category and 98 classified as general cruising yachts. There are also 46 cruising and racing multihulls competing. The Australian Yachting Championship has attracted 54 monohulls and 15 multihulls.
Of the smaller entries, 17 are trailables, the majority of which are travelling great distances to be at the regatta.
New South Wales tops the list with 96 entries, in front of Queensland 86, Victoria 51, Tasmania and South Australia with five each, Western Australia four and the ACT one. Three international entries have also nominated.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week's Race director Denis Thompson said although it would be a logistical challenge, it was a great response for the event.
"It is a phenomenal fleet," he said.
"It is going to be a big task for the race management team to ensure everything runs smoothly, but as they have proved over so many years, they will handle it.
"One of those challenges will be to organise the racing so that the entire fleet isn't required to assemble in the same area each day, especially for the starts we have off Hamilton Island Yacht Club."
Hamilton Island's Harbour Master James Burrell is unfazed.
"We have spent more than $2 million this year expanding the superyacht docking facilities within the harbour, and this means that all Race Week yachts will have their own dock space; no one will be required to raft-up," he said.
"Despite the great number, the entire fleet will be accommodated inside the harbour."
The Notice of Race and entry form for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 are now posted on www.audihamiltonislandraceweek.com.au