Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
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Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

All you need to know about Hamilton Island's luxury event.

One of Australia’s most idyllic holiday destinations, Hamilton Island, has bid adieu to another sun-drenched, luxury-laden race week (the 32nd in race week history).  The clear waters off the coast of the island hosted hundreds of yachts from Australia and around the world in the week-long racing event.

The onshore social activities – luxurious cocktail parties, long lunches by the Qualia pool, dinners prepared by celebrity chefs Guillaume Brahimi and Shannon Bennett – amplified the island’s full potential as a premium Australian island escape.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is the largest sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most coveted events on both the sporting and social calendar.

Here is a wrap-up of the week that was. 

On the water

There are a few on-water events that take place during race week, including the popular Prix d’Elegance (where two yachts receive the Best Presented Yacht and the Best Themed Yacht awards). This year, a record fleet of 252 yachts spread out among the Whitsunday islands while humpback whales calving in the warm waters came to watch and play among the competing boats. The 2,500 sailors from Australia and around the world had six days to make their mark on the final scoresheet and to weave their way around the island courses. The racing itself includes a grand prix class for top-class racers, an IRC passage class for modern, cruising yachts, and performance racing and sports boat classes.


Hamilton Island’s 11-year partnership with Audi Australia has turned what was once a sailing regatta into a coveted lifestyle and holiday event where culture, sport and food and wine are celebrated. The shopping list to support the 100-plus events includes more than 3,000 bottles of champagne and wine, 10 tonnes of ice, 800 punnets of strawberries and 540kg of coffee. 

One of the must-do ticketed events that occur annually is the Paspaley Luncheon that takes place on the sands of Pebble Beach, Qualia.

There are also plenty of non-ticketed events that take place over the course of the week like the sailor’s “day off” where the resort pools and Catseye Beach come alive with people and the lay day pool party.    


Qualia: The ultimate in Hamilton Island accommodation. Located on the secluded northern tip of the Island, qualia has a choice of 60 private standalone pavilions, many with plunge pools and natural outdoor showers.

Beach Club: With its absolute beachfront location, the recently refurbished Beach Club offer the ultimate romantic island holiday experience. 

Yacht Club Villas: Adjacent to the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the luxury Yacht Club Villas offer breathtaking ocean views over Dent Passage.

Ref View Hotel: Spacious, comfortable and with most rooms boasting incredible sea views, the Reef View Hotel offers family-friendly Hamilton Island accommodation. 

Food and wine

Race week is never short of amazing food and celebrity chefs. This year, Matt Moran, Shannon Bennett and Guilaume Brahimi delighted guests with gastronomic experiences. One of this year’s highlights was the GOMA Art in Paradise Dinner. The venue was Hamilton Island’s award-winning qualia. The chef, QAGOMA’s (Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art) award-winning Executive Chef, Josue Lopez, and the concept, marrying fine food to contemporary art. 

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