Summer starts at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Considering I spent the entirety of my formative years in or around the water, it seemed only natural that I should return to it when I moved back to Sydney from London eighteen months ago.

Until recently I had never sailed before, and while I’m only at a basic level now, that old connection with the sea, the outside elements, and the like-minded people – all remains the same.

I’ve been spending my weekend’s trying to navigate the dinghy’s at Woollahra Sailing Club; diligently strengthening my too-soft-for-sailing (self-critically named), baby hands and trying to remember to duck when the boom swings round on a sudden gybe. I won’t be back on the water until I arrive in Hamilton Island on Thursday of next week, (earning money is such a drag) but I have a sneaking suspicion that once I arrive, I’ll get a crash course in sailing from the very best in the business.

The vast majority of those who’ll be in Hamilton Island this week and next will be there to compete at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. All of those competing will have the sailing hands I lack – together with a much better sense of navigating a simultaneous boom and wind mood-swing. They’ve graduated from dinghy’s to yachts and gone on to become some of the very best sailors of our time, racing at one of the most prestigious sailing regattas in the world, and aboard the very best vessels that man can buy.

One of the more talked about yachts, the brand new Beau Geste, is owned by 2014 defending champion Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok and has some rather impressive stats. Designed by Botin Partners, the 80 footer was built in Auckland by Cookson Yachts and assembled by the America’s Cup team. Those lucky enough to race in it are equally as impressive; the international sailing elite, comprising of mostly Australians, New Zealanders and the Brits.

The specialty of the event doesn’t end in the water though, with many on-shore activities keeping the regatta as a destination for the well heeled – and food obsessed. Lunches and dinners are dotted amongst the racing schedule with international guests treated to Audi sponsored fine dining, a Net-A-Porter style suite, entertainment – and pretty spectacular views.

My summer starts now. See you on the water!

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