Hamilton Island Race Week Recap

Jack Thompson, Richard Roxburgh, Matt Moran enjoying the on-shore events at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012

Jack Thompson, Richard Roxburgh, Matt Moran enjoying the on-shore events at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012

Race Week recovery week started on Saturday actually, the last day of racing. A quiet beer with friends at Catseye Beach’s Sails Restaurant, some prawns and some chips…just the ticket after a week of champagne, frocks and heels. There are still some spots of sea fog out on the water but the Island is bathed in sun. There are a few stories circulating from the Wild Oats & Hugos Beachside Sangria party last night that indicate it was a good one!

Working backwards through the week (!), Friday morning was the Matt Moran masterclass where he cooked up lamb cutlets, rump and shoulder while fending off questions from MC Catriona Rowntree. Good fun and a big “yum” from audience, some still recovering from the night before.

Adriano Zumbo's High tea at qualia

Adriano Zumbo's High Tea at qualia

Many of the audience then travelled straight from the Hamilton Island Yacht Club to qualia for the Adriano Zumbo’s Champagne High Tea. White chocolate pearls filled with passion fruit and cream cheese to mimic yolk and white, appearing in jewellery boxes. Yum! And if the sweets were not enough to blow you away, a mum and calf humpback whale decided to display themselves in the waters off Pebble Beach. Perfect!

Stepping back again, and Thursday was another foodie day. This time, Shannon Bennett (motto: when in doubt, add more butter – French, of course) gave a wonderful masterclass on truffles.

He followed that up with my pick for dinner-of-the-week with Matt Moran. It was billed as a bit of a cook-off but together they were outstanding. And a whole heap of fun too. Shannon’s Crab and Prawn on the Barbie (live at the table) was a highlight, but the classic ARIA dish of Peking Duck Consomme was ‘judged’ (by our table) to be the dish of the night.

Wednesday is traditionally a lay day at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (read party day). The first party arguably started on F-Arm at the marina last Friday. Known as “The Farm”, F & G arms are the home of the cruising division boats. I loved seeing some familiar faces on Race Week TV having a sing-along onboard Ruby Charlotte, the ex-pearling lugger owned by Dent Island residents John & Liz Hickling.

Moet & Chandon lunch at qualia

Moet & Chandon lunch at qualia

The first (official) party kicked off at qualia at 12 sharp: the Moet & Chandon Lunch. A hundred plus people, most dressed in white, grooving in the Long Pavilion to the fabulous Aaron Bannie from The Keystone Group and sipping Moet Imperial on ice…very nice. The roulettes made a flying pass or five and the highlight of the menu was steak, eggs and chips (a very flash version, that is!). It was the hottest ticket of the week.

Good times at the Beachside Pool Party - Hamilton Island Race Week

Good times at the Beachside Pool Party - Hamilton Island Race Week 2012

Those not at qualia were poolside at the Beachside Pool Party with DJ’s Jake O’Leary and the Backhanderz along with D.I.V.E and Peter Dolso. It would be fair to say that it was a huge night, am I’m glad I wasn’t going out on the water the next day.