In many areas of Australia, "race week" usually means high speed auto racing or the thrill of the great horse race. But in an area of Australia that is home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands, stunning coral reefs and crystal blue waters, what else would the great race event be but a classic yacht race?

The prestigious Hamilton Island Race Week has become one of the country’s greatest boat races around – to see all those big, beautiful sails snapping in the breeze on the many impressive yachts is a sight to remember. 

Started in 1983, Hamilton Island Race Week has grown to become one of Australia’s most popular sailing races, with over 200 entrants take part in the event annually. The island doesn’t fail to impress, with its welcoming party atmosphere making it a popular occasion for all. The beauty of the surrounding islands and the inviting waters are the ideal setting for what has become a local favourite on the social calendar.

Race Week takes place every August and the stunning backdrop of the Whitsunday Islands on the blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef make this race unlike any other in the world. The international race coincides with many local activities in the area, including whale watching, sailing lessons for beginners, boating tours of the Whitsundays and land-based events from Race Week parties to food and wine festivals. The 2014 race takes place between 16-23 August.