23rd August 2017
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is underway in the Whitsundays and last weekend received a royal welcome as Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark arrived for a quick visit to Queensland. While there had been speculation that his Australian wife, Crown Princess Mary was to be a VIP guest at the event, her husband Prince Frederik was quick to clear things up.
“She would love to be here. We had planned on her being here as well, kick back and relax. But she made a choice which I think is the right choice. Obviously our two young ones just started school so I saw them together with her for their first school days, but she chose to stay home and obviously be the good mother” he told Channel 7.
Leaving Princess Mary at home in Denmark, Prince Frederik arrived in north Queensland in a fairly low-key fashion ahead of the sailing festivities over the coming week. Sailing is one of the most popular Hamilton Island activities, however during Race Week the action really heats up. Prince Frederik kicked things off with the welcome party on Saturday at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club where he mingled with the other competitors.
Sunday he hit the water, chartering billionaire Sandy Oatley’s famous Wild Oats 66 yacht which has been renamed NANOQ. Competing with a mixed crew of local and Danish sailors, Prince Frederik took out the first race of the series. However the Danish royal shied away from the spotlight, simply telling the media “it’s always great to be back in Australia but this time it’s for a more sporty part that I’m doing. First time at Hamilton, it’s going to be exciting” he said.
The action of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week continues, culminating in an all classes short around-the-islands race this Saturday 26 August 2017.