A tickertape parade and ‘welcome home’ celebration has been held on Hamilton Island yesterday, during Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, for sailing’s elite athletes – Australia’s most successful sailing team.

At a cocktail party hosted by Audi Australia’s managing director, Uwe Hagen, together with Audi owners at the Hamilton Island-based event, the Australian Sailing Team spoke about their London 2012 experience, including their Olympic Games preparation.

To congratulate the medallists for their success, Hagen then announced that every sailing medallist from the team – there are eight in total – would have the opportunity to drive their ‘dream car’ for a month – including the Audi R8 sportscar ($270,000 +), eliciting a loud cheer from the crowd.

“As a sponsor of this great team, we are pleased to see that the entire nation is now aware of how strong our sailing team is. This is now our opportunity to officially recognise they are the best in the world,” Mr Hagen said at the event.

“I want to thank the entire team on behalf of Audi for their contribution. Not everyone can win a medal – but the true test of a great athlete is their ability to constantly look for the next challenge, prepare as well as they possibly can and push to succeed,” Hagen added.

Gold Medallist and Audi Ambassador, Malcolm Page, who sailed with team-mate and fellow Audi Ambassador, Mathew Belcher, then went on to thank the company for its support on behalf of the athletes.

“It’s an amazing brand and the values of Audi and what we are trying to achieve go together amazingly well. Thankyou for your continued support over the past six years – it has made a hell of a difference,” Page said.

Page, who carried the Australian flag in the Closing Ceremony in London, made Australian sailing history when he successfully defended his gold medal-winning performance from Beijing. He is the only Australian sailor to win two gold medals.

Hagen then went on to offer the brand’s top athlete – the Audi R8 sportscar – for sailing’s top athletes to drive for a month.
Thirteen Australian sailors competed in London, and an impressive 8 won medals for their stellar performances. Special congratulations to:

Mat Belcher & Malcolm Page (GOLD in Men’s 470)
Tom Slingsby (GOLD in Laser class)
Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (GOLD in Men’s 49ers)
Lucinda Whitty, Olivia Price and Nina Curtis (SILVER in Women’s Match Racing)

Audi Australia has been a long-time supporter of the Australian Sailing Team, and is a partner of sailing’s national body, Yachting Australia. Hamilton Island has also been a long-time sponsor of the AST.

“We want to see Australia always at the top in Olympic-level sailing. So we are throwing our support behind sailing at grass roots level – making our support accessible to all sailors and to motivate the youth of Australia to succeed in this sport,” Mr Hagen said.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.