Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013

Check out exclusive photos from the largest regatta in Australia along with all the amazing celebrities, food and fashion.

Thirty years of sailing was celebrated in August at the prestigious Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013. The international yachting event, now the largest offshore regatta in Australia, attracts sailing’s elite including the country’s best sailors and yachts such as Bob Oatley’s (owner of Hamilton Island) six time Sydney to Hobart winning super maxi, Wild Oats XI. 2013 also offers another cause for celebration; the 10th anniversary of the Oatley family’s custodianship of Hamilton Island.

But the event isn’t just for sailors. Over the last three decades Race Week has evolved into a spectacular display of on-water racing paired with the finest epicurean cuisine, exclusive fashion shows, flowing champagne and celebrity guests. Designed to keeping not only the sailor’s family and friends returning year after year, but also attracting travellers in search of a unique winter getaway is the impressive shore-side social calendar.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week’s opening weekend was filled with impressive gastronomic displays by principal sponsor, Audi’s, three esteemed ambassadors. Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong and Shannon Bennett, three of Australia’s most notable chefs, dazzled guests with their gastronomic ingenuity. Matt Moran created a beautiful ‘Chiswick’ inspired garden dinner at Hamilton Island’s coca chu restaurant, Moran showcased dishes designed for sharing from his lauded Sydney restaurant by the same name, the menu reflecting the simplicity of great produce and changing seasons, including To Share dishes of the Wood roasted Moran family lamb with chermoula and cous cous, Fish and prawn tagine, and Roast chicken with baby carrots and radicchio. 

The traditional Australian brunch was given an inimitable Cantonese twist by talented chef and author, Kylie Kwong, who presented her unique ‘dim sum-style’ brunch in the winter sunshine on Hamilton Island Yacht Club’s Bommie Deck. Kwong created delicious, organic and sustainably-harvested treats including her steamed scallop dumplings, crispy prawn wontons, and famous mini pork buns. Kwong said: ‘My brunch menu showcased the delicate delights of freshly made Cantonese-Style Dim Sum whilst also highlighting the distinct and delicious flavours and textures of our unique Australian native produce.’

In ultimate celebration of the 30th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Shannon Bennett and four of his protégés combined their talents to produce ‘30’. Synchronised swimmers, wearing exclusive Collette Dinnigan swimwear capped off with 50’s style floral swimming caps, glided through qualia’s infinity-edged pool at sunset, creating a magical setting for an unforgettable dinner. 

Another highly popular culinary event was the Charles Heidsieck Lunch. The event was attended by hundreds of guests, including Ronan Keating and girlfriend Storm Uechtritz. Following canapés and champagne on arrival was a bespoke three-course lunch created by qualia’s Executive Chef, Alastair Waddell, and matched with fine Charles Heidsieck wines. 

Undoubtedly the show stopping highlight of the week was the Collette Dinnigan Resort Show & Cocktail Party; with Hamilton Island the only location outside of Paris that the internationally acclaimed fashion designer shows her collections. Guests enjoyed pre-show canapés and champagne as the sun was setting at qualia’s waterside Pebble Beach, before being transferred up to qualia’s magnificent Long Pavilion for the parade. TV personality Catriona Rowntree emceed the parade for 250 guests, which was opened by top model Alexandra Agoston wearing a silk and sequin halter top teamed with neat tailored shorts. 

Other culinary highlights of the week-long regatta included creator of Sydney’s The Apollo Jonathan Barthelmess who presented his own unique blend of traditional yet innovative Mediterranean cuisine - a slice of Santorini by the beach. Hamilton Island’s own Adam Woodfield, executive chef at modern south-east Asian restaurant coca chu, also delivered a scrumptious Yum Cha Lunch, while a Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch featured patissier extraordinaire Adriano Zumbo and his mastery of pastry.

Other daily activities also spoiled guests, from the new Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Bar at Bommie Deck, Beachside Yoga, sports challenges including the Audi vehicle tug of war and the Audi Australia Land of Quattro drive experience.

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