Prep for Prix d’Elegance

How to win a spectacular prize without winning a race at Hamilton Island Race Week 2022.

Photography by Salty Dingo

26 April 2022


Two of the 221 crews competing at Hamilton Island Race Week in August will each claim a spectacular prize and trophy without participating in a race.

All they need do is apply some creative thinking to theming themselves and their yacht then be judged the winner of one of the two categories of the highly popular Prix d’Elegance, a fun pre-race event scheduled for Thursday, August 25.

Hamilton Island’s luxury retreat, qualia, is providing the magnificent prizes for the owners of the winning yachts in each category – an unforgettable two-night weekend escape for two.

Also, special trophies will be awarded to the two category winners.

The Prix d’Elegance, or in some cases “the not so elegant’, is a contest that has been an integral part of Hamilton Island Race Week since 2007.


The concept makes it an entertaining challenge for the crews while providing considerable entertainment for the spectators watching the parade from the Flag Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

There are two categories in the Prix d’Elegance:


The yacht is perfectly presented and the crew in matching uniforms lining the deck etc. Yachts can be subtly themed … and remember, keep the yacht presentable … don’t have your fenders dangling over the side!


We have had political satire, tropical island settings, bubble-baths, a wedding and even Michael Jackson as themes for this section.

Judging will take place off Hamilton Island Yacht Club’s flag deck (where the judges will be located) between 0930hrs and 1030hrs. The timing is scheduled so all crews have ample opportunity to be judged then return to their dock if necessary, get back into racing mode and reach their respective start lines in time for racing that day.

Each category winner will be presented with their trophy and prizes at Race Week’s gala prize-giving dinner on Saturday, August 27.

The 36th edition of Hamilton Island Race Week will be staged from 2 to 27 August 2022. All information relating to the regatta is online.

“The Prix d’Elegance is a wonderful tradition at Hamilton Island Race Week that everyone enjoys,” said the regatta’s Race Director, Denis Thompson.

“We are amazed each year by the length to which the crews go to in their endeavours to be declared the winners of what is a highly entertaining event.”

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