Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: the sailing and social set are gearing up

From this weekend a bevy of sailing types, social names and leading style peeps will head to Hamilton Island for their annual ode to all things nautical.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week kicks off on Saturday and here is a rundown of what guests can expect.

Some of the names who are expected to attend include Asher Keddie, Vincent Fantauzzo, Simon Baker, Imogen Banks, Shannon Murphy, Lisa Wilkinson, Bruna Papandrea, Francesca Packer, Hayden Cox, Guillaume and Matt Moran.

I’ll be up there for the first few days so I will keep you posted!

When Audi Hamilton Island Race Week sets sail this year, Australia’s favourite lifestyle event will again deliver the country’s best competitive sailing competition, along with a host of exceptionally stylish social events, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Great Barrier Reef.

From 20 – 27 August 2016, Hamilton Island, the jewel in the Whitsunday crown, will be buzzing with professional and amateur sailors, families, food lovers, wine connoisseurs, celebrities, style leaders and more.

Now in its 33rd year, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week once again sees German luxury carmaker, Audi, return as its principal partner, with the company now supporting the prominent event for 11 years.

For the first time in the history of the event, more than 240 boats have registered to compete, breaking the previous record of 227, while the impressive line-up of on-shore activities open to the general public, along with ticketed and invitation-only events, are receiving their final finishing touches ahead of the 20 August official opening.

More than 30 gleaming Audi vehicles, valued at over $3.4 million, are enroute to the island paradise, along with 3000 bottles of Piper and Charles Heidsieck champagne, 106,000 bottles of beer, 620 dozen oysters, 10 tonnes of ice, 800 punnets of strawberries and 540kg of coffee for the week.

“This years’ record fleet and impressive on-shore line up shows even after 32 years, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week continues to stand as Australia’s premier offshore regatta, and undoubtedly one of the best sailing events in the world,” said Hamilton Island CEO, Glenn Bourke.

“Audi will again help to bring to life an extraordinary program of events in 2016, many of which feature our diverse portfolio of Audi ambassadors, including chefs Guillaume Brahimi, Matt Moran and Shannon Bennett along with Richard Roxburgh, Vincent Fantauzzo, Asher Keddie, Lisa Wilkinson, Sandra Sully, James Tobin and Darren Palmer,” added Mr Doyle.

The full schedule of 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week activities can be viewed at

Big Night of Celebrations for INXS

A huge evening of celebrations took place honouring INXS at the QT Sydney, where Universal Music Group (UMG) and Petrol Records kicked off their recent joint venture with an exclusive dinner event – presenting some exciting news for the band.

The evening, which was also INXS member Tim Farriss’ birthday, saw Chris Murphy (Chairman of Petrol Records and INXS manager) and George Ash, Liam Dennis and Sean Warner of UMG present the band with their 5 x Platinum awards for Very Best and 3 X Platinum awards for Live Baby Live.

Shortly after these awards, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, made a video appearance, surprising Tim Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, Jon Farriss and Andrew Farriss of INXS with the announcement that their Very Best album had actually eclipsed their previous sales record and achieved 6 x Platinum status – on the eve of the 39th anniversary of the band’s first ever performance.

Many celebratory speeches were made and the band members treated guests, which included industry names such as David Koch, Richard Wilkins, Angela Bishop, Mark Opitz, Brad Lyons and more to anecdotes from their adventurous times on the road.

MarkPope, of Mark Pope Music, and Mark Fennessy, CEO of Endemol Shine Australia, then read out telegram messages from INXS’ friends and contacts from all over the world.

Guests enjoyed a sit down dinner whilst the speeches were made, and were then treated to an impromptu acoustic performance of Never Tear Us Apart by Andrew Farriss, which had many of the forty-five guests in the room singing along.

The evening was one of great honour for INXS who have consistently been one of the biggest selling Australian artists and won multiple international awards over their time.

Tropfest Announces Move to a New Home

The iconic short film festival Tropfest announced it has found a new home in Parramatta.

At a media call attended by filmmaker and Tropfest Board member George Miller AO (Mad Max, Happy Feet, Babe), actor and previous Tropfest Judge Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Tropfest supporter Producer Marian Macgowan (Two Hands, upcoming Utzon: The Man Behind The Opera House) and actors Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt, Maleficent, upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Tess Haubrich (Wolverine, upcoming Alien: Covenant and Bleeding Steel) Tropfest will now be held at Parramatta Park with the inaugural event to take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Also in attendance was Environment and Heritage Minister Mark Speakman, City of Parramatta Council Administrator Amanda Chadwick, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, the Premier’s Cultural Ambassador for Western Sydney and Lucy Turnbull AO as Chair of the Greater Sydney Commission.

John Polson, founder of Tropfest, speaking from set of Elementary, said: “After extensive research and soul-searching, as well as looking to international festivals such as Sundance and Cannes for inspiration, we’ve recognised our desire to have a destination we could fully embrace and call our own. Tropfest needed a fresh base where it can be nurtured, expand, and eventually become a multi event festival. Moving Tropfest to Parramatta also puts us firmly in the geographical heart of Sydney, which is the perfect place for the worlds most exciting and accessible film event.”

“The City of Parramatta and Parramatta Park Trust have already demonstrated they are 100% behind helping us ensure Tropfest at Parramatta is a success. Having such vested partners on board enables us to continue our core mission – to provide a platform for Australia’s incredible filmmaking talent, and to celebrate that talent loudly and for all the world to see.

“The City of Parramatta and Parramatta Park Trust have already demonstrated they are 100% behind helping us ensure Tropfest at Parramatta is a success. Having such vested partners on board enables us to continue our core mission – to provide a platform for Australia’s incredible filmmaking talent, and to celebrate that talent loudly and for all the world to see.

I can’t wait to introduce the loyal Tropfest audience to our beautiful new venue at Parramatta Park (just a short train ride away!) as well as connect with ever wider audiences at our new home.”

ALLIED, the movie, starring Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard - First Look

Take your first look at Academy Award Nominee Brad Pitt & Academy Award Winner Marion Cotillard in ALLIED.

Directed by Academy Award Winner Robert Zemeckis, ALLIED is the story of intelligence officer Max Vatan (Pitt), who in 1942 North Africa encounters French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard)on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Reunited in London, their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war.


Just when you thought Cruise ‘n Groove 2017 couldn’t get any more exciting, joining Australia’s biggest retro music festival at sea are pop heavyweights KC and The Sunshine Band, known as one of the biggest hit-makers of the disco era and credited with changing the sound of modern pop music.

But wait, there’s more! The addition of Paul Young has also been announced to make the Cruise ‘n Groove party even bigger when it sets sail from Sydney to the South Pacific in October 2017. The 1980’s English ‘blue-eyed soul’ singer, popular for hits including Everytime You Go Away, Love of the Common People, Wherever I Lay My Hat and Come Back and Stay, will perform his dreamy multi-platinum classics to adoring fans at sea.

KC expresses his excitement, saying: “To play across the South Pacific will be an absolute blast, I can’t wait to perform with some of the other incredible acts on the bill and reunite with my Australian fans. It will be truly special.”

With live music pumping in the impressive Aurora Theatre, The Colony Club, Quill & Compass, Starquest Club, Schooner Bar, Centrum and Poolside, plus incredible panoramic views of the South Pacific, audiences will enjoy a personal and relaxed encounter with the world-class talent on board. Choose Your Cruise guarantees a dazzling at-sea experience for memories audiences will never forget.