Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Australia's Olympic Sailors Celebrated At Hamilton Island

Members of the London 2012 Australian Olympic Sailing Team were given a warm welcome to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week by the sailing community last night.
Nina Curtis Photo: Craig Greenhill/Saltwater Images
A tickertape parade was held to welcome home and congratulate Australia’s outstanding sailing team. Amongst the group were gold medalists Tom Slingsby, Mat Belcher, Malcolm Page, and Iain Jensen, silver medalists Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty, team coach and the medal maker Victor Kovalenko and team manager Peter Conde.
Iain Jensen and Tom Slingsby Photo: Craig Greenhill/Saltwater Images
Other Olympic medalists at the tickertape parade included Belinda Stowell (Gold, Sydney 2000), Elise Rechichi (Gold, Beijing 2008), Michael Blackburn (Bronze, Sydney 2000), American John Bertrand (Silver, Los Angeles 1984). It is the most Olympic sailing medalists ever congregated in the one location outside of an Olympic venue, and it happened at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Malcolm Page, Victor Kovalenko and Mat Belcher Photo: Craig Greenhill/Saltwater Images
Glenn Bourke, Hamilton Island’s CEO, an Olympian in his own right and also a 2012 team selector, welcomed the sailors to Hamilton Island and conducted a Q&A session with the medalists, team manager Peter and coach Victor.

Following the parade and Q&A, the team signed autographs for young and old, before attending a special Audi function at Hamilton Island’s iconic Yacht Club. Audi awarded the medalists with a special surprise; an Audi each of their choosing to drive for one month.

Now in its 29th year, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is the largest offshore yachting regatta in Australia. Each year, elite sailors from around the globe enjoy coming to Hamilton Island, both for the incredible yachting in one of the greatest sailing regions in the world, and also the sparkling on shore events lineup of fashion, beauty, gourmet cuisine and glamorous parties.

Lisa Ratcliff

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