After living in California for 46 years, ex-pat Australian, and international yachtsman, Robbie Vaughan, decided a few months ago to return home to Hobart, semi-retire and enter his classic 20-metre long sloop, Van Diemen III, in Hamilton Island Race Week 2018. When the entry was lodged a few days ago, Van Diemen III became the 100th nomination for the acclaimed regatta which is scheduled for August 18 to 25. And, making the milestone even more impressive was the fact that the first 100 entries came at a rate faster than that seen in 2016 when a record 252 yachts competed at Race Week. When Vaughan left Australia for California in 1972 his intention was “to sail in a few Dragon class regattas then
head home after six months.” But that plan fell to pieces very quickly. He was bitten by the ocean racing “bug” and by 1975 was sailing aboard the famous American yacht, Charisma, in the Admiral’s Cup in England. Inevitably, California became home and Hobart a distant memory. Vaughan’s long-held dream of owning a classic-style yacht, based on the famous Ticonderoga, became reality in 2004 when he had Van Diemen III designed in America then built in New Zealand.
The yacht has been based in California since being launched, but during that period it has crossed the Pacific four times and competed at Hamilton Island Race Week on three occasions. “This type of regatta just doesn’t happen in America,” Vaughan said on hearing his yacht was the 100th entry for Race Week. “The venue is spectacular, the sailing great and the camaraderie onshore amazing.”
Vaughan, who is setting up a yacht restoration business in Hobart, will have a colourful group of sailing mates with him for Race Week, including Sydney yacht broker, Michael ‘Zapper’ Bell and noted journalist, Piers Ackerman
(who is the ‘Minister for Diplomacy’ while racing). It is also possible that legendary Tasmanian sailor, Charles “Chas from Tas” Blundell will be aboard. Hamilton Island Race Week caters for the full spectrum of yachts: from trailables to supermaxis, cruising yachts and charter boats, monohulls and multihulls. All information relating to the regatta is on the website: www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au
For additional information please contact:
Hamilton Island Race Week 2018
Source: Hamilton Island Race Week Newsletter.