12 things to do before Hamilton Island Race Week Posted by Lisa Ratcliff - 24 July 2017 Lisa Ratcliff spoke to professional boat managers Stacey Jackson and Mitch White and created these steps for getting to Hamilton Island Race Week (19-26 August 2017) and enjoying a successful regatta in the Whitsundays: Enter online here and complete all regatta paperwork by Sunday 6 August to make life easier for the hard-working administrators. View the Notice of Race here and be aware that moorings for competing boats in the harbour at Hamilton Island are available from 1100hrs Thursday 17 August to 1100hrs Monday 28 August at no charge. On an island supplies may be limited so bring your full personal sailing kit including offshore gear, sailing shoes or sea boots, gloves and any other items that allow you to be comfortable in all conditions; Stacey points out that Far North Queensland weather is changeable in winter and you could be racing in thermals and wet weather gear one day then a T-shirt and shorts the next. Pack for all seasons including after-hours when it’s best to wear or take a wrap or jacket for warmth. If you are planning to attend any of the key ticketed events or expect an invite to the welcome party at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club on Saturday 19 August, dress codes range from relaxed island glamour to resort chic. The onshore schedule is here (please note some events have already sold out), and don't forget to book early for the Presentation Dinner as it’s always a sellout. Given the tough competition, crews are advised to choose a theme and organise their Prix d’Elegance outfits and boat decorations well in advance. Categories for this year include the Best Presented Yacht and Crew and the Best Fun-Themed Yacht and Crew. It’s obvious previous winners put a lot of thought and time into dressing up in matching or themed outfits for this wonderful and usually hilarious parade past the judges on Hamilton Island Yacht Club’s Bommie Deck before racing on Friday 25 August. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are available for purchase during Race Week, or bring your own personal favourites to protect you from the sun and glare while working on your boat at the marina and during racing; If each crew brought their own refillable drink bottle and travel coffee cup rather than buying single-use bottles and cups imagine how much waste 2,000 yachties and their shore teams would save over one week? While Hamilton Island recycles hard plastic, the plastic waterproof lining of takeaway coffee cups means they can’t be recycled. Race Week sponsor Club Marine will for the first time provide refillable water bottles as a gift and service to competitors. Our two boat managers recommend bringing spares of all the major components that can put you out of a race including rigging, electrics and spare parts for winches; Before leaving for the northern series - made up of Airlie Beach Race Week, Hamilton Island Race Week and Magnetic Island Race Week - prepare your boat. Mitch follows this order: 1. Slip the boat and prepare the hull. 2. Make sure your sails are in good shape and sent off for repair or recut if needed, order any new sails with enough time to fill the order before your departure date. If you incur sail damage during Race Week, North Sails operate a service loft on the island. 3. Work through a general boat maintenance list including a winch and engine service, rig check completed by a qualified rigger, deck check and safety gear check. 4. Crew check. Include an experienced navigator among the crew for the northern regattas given there are many rocks, reefs and other hazards ready to catch out unsuspecting crews; Compile a good contact list of all the trades you might need if you suffer a failure or breakage during Race Week and find out whether they will be on-island either servicing clients or sailing on other boats. Your list might include a rigger, marine electrician and boat builder, and other trades that can get you back out on the water quickly. The biggest boats with deepest drafts need to be aware of the tides as they can dictate times for getting in and out of Hamilton Island harbour. About the Author Lisa grew up on Scotland Island in Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches, the breeding ground for many Australian sailing greats including the Beashels, Mottles and the Spithills. A communications degree at the University of Canberra, a career that has seen her rise to the top of her specialist field and three children later has brought her full circle back to the island as a home owner. Having attended Audi Hamilton Island Race Week for more then 12 years as the events media manager Lisa was the perfect person to compile how to get race ready. You can check in on Lisa's recent work here.