sailing event is going ahead despite the devastation caused by TC Debbie

THE region's premier sailing event is going ahead despite the devastation caused by TC Debbie.

Organisers, the Oatley family, have confirmed that despite the Whitsunday Islands region being hard hit by Cyclone Debbie two weeks ago, the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 will proceed in August as scheduled.

"We are planning to make this year's Race Week bigger and better than ever," said Hamilton Island's CEO, Olympic and world champion sailor Glenn Bourke, who was speaking on behalf of the Oatleys.

"We want to demonstrate our thanks to the many yachties who offered to come to the island and assist with our recovery effort, and those who have already shown their support via messages of encouragement or by lodging their entry for Race Week since Debbie struck.

"There is a unique bond between our loyal Audi Hamilton Island Race Week competitors, and this year we are hoping they will be with us in greater numbers than ever so we can show the world how resilient we are.

"Race Week will also provide the opportunity for everyone to see what a superb job our staff has done getting the island back to being operational.


Audi Hamilton Island Race Week


"We have already welcomed our first guests back to Hamilton Island post Debbie, and by the time Race Week comes around in August we should be back to 100% occupancy."

The entry list for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 continues to grow at a record rate. Nearly 80 nominations already have been received for the regatta, which will be staged from August 19 to 26.

"The impact of the cyclone resulted in damage to vegetation and the island's facade; however, no significant structural damage has occurred to any of the hotels and resorts due to their construction to the highest cyclone safety ratings," Mr Bourke said.

"The marina suffered only minor damage."





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Source :  Daily Mercury