Hamo on the horizon

2024 Hamilton Island Race Week – get set for the ultimate on water action.

Photography by Salty Dingo

12 June 2024


Entries for this year’s Hamilton Island Race Week quickly reached capacity as Australian and international boat owners raced to register for the internationally acclaimed Whitsundays sailing series.

The 39th Race Week, 17 to 24 August, will unite thousands of sailors and their family and friends at the major onshore and on-water event that fosters camaraderie and fantastic competition.

Among the 170 entries is a handful of high-performance Cape 31s, a class of boat that is quickly growing in popularity in Australia. The fleet of five, from NSW, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland, will contest their first Australian championship on the turquoise waters off Hamilton Island.


South Australian owner and Race Week first-timer Julian Newton said “They’re one-design but with their funky colour schemes, no boat is the same.

“In my mind it’s the ultimate – a big sports boat and a mini-TP52. It’s exceptionally manageable – the more wind the more stable it becomes.

“I’ve always wanted to do Hamilton Island Race Week, and in something fun without a huge budget,” Newton added.

“This will be the first Cape 31 class gathering and I expect the boat to watch will be the Australian agent David Ross and his Kukukerchu crew. I’m looking forward to the street parties; I’ll definitely embrace the social side!”

Longtime regatta director, Denis Thompson said the Super 40 division showcases a tough line-up, including the Cape 31s. He also pointed to the high-calibre TP52 division and the Pallas Capital Gold Cup frontrunner, David Doherty’s Matador, which is the TP to beat in their series.

Grant Wharington’s maxi Wild Thing 100 is the Rating Class heavyweight at 30-metres. Next in line is a range of proven 60-plus foot champions, including the two-time Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Alive (Duncan Hine) and the Oatley family’s RP 66 Wild Oats X, skippered by Mark Richards.

“This year our entry quota filled within three weeks of launching, underscoring the sailing community’s fervour for this eagerly anticipated event,” said Island CEO Pete Brulisauer. “We look forward to the return of past participants and extend a warm welcome to new challengers and spectators.”

On top of the thrilling and always colourful trade wind contest at the Southern Hemisphere’s premier offshore regatta, guests can look forward to lively Front Street activations, entertainment, and exclusive culinary experiences.

Social tickets will be available for purchase via the website starting 19 June 2024.



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