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Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally - Rolly Tasker Memorial Trophy

by Marina Valmadre on 5 Jul 2012
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Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally gets underway on 4th May, 2013 from West end of North Mole in Fremantle Harbour, WA.

Following the death of legendary WA yachtsman Rolly Tasker the Western Australian state government has announced the creation of a memorial trophy to honour Tasker’s yachting successes and his links as patron and inaugural race record holder for the state’s only international yacht race.

Deputy Premier, Dr Kim Hames announced the government’s establishment of the Rolly Tasker Memorial Trophy for Line Honours in the Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally acknowledging the impact Tasker had on the biennial race first sailed in 1981, which now attracts local, national and international entries to the event created by the Fremantle Sailing Club in Western Australia.

Tasker’s link to the race was firmly established when his yacht Siska took line honours in 1981 with the record standing for 30 years until it was broken just last year. WA’s first Olympic yachting medalist and a yachting legend who raced in many major races in his series of four bright red Siska yachts, Rolly Tasker made an art form of creating and smashing line honour records.

Bob Kucera, Fremantle Sailing Club Commodore and a participant in both the 1981 and 2011 races said the announcement of the memorial trophy was a fitting honour by the state that would cultivate even more interest in the event.

'Rolly was an extraordinary West Australian yachtsman. He was an internationally recognized sailor and sailmaker whose passion for the sport of sailing and determination to succeed was an inspiration for yachtsmen not only in WA but world-wide,' said Mr Kucera.

'He brought kudos to our state through his sailing successes and exquisite yachts. The sleek, red hulls of his series of Siskas with their massive sails added a fantastic glamour quotient to sailing and cultivated and promoted a love of competitive sailing and the camaraderie it brings,' said Mr Kucera.

John Bertrand, skipper of Australia II’s America’s Cup win and chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame said Rolly had been an early supporter and sailing inspiration and a trophy that recognized and honoured his continued quest for line honours was a perfect fit for the WA sailing legend.

Terry Baker, Chairman of the Wonderful Indonesia, Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally and Fremantle Sailing Club’s Vice Commodore said the memorial trophy would keep Rolly Tasker’s name fully associated with the race and would stimulate and motivate competitors and advance the goals of the event which includes fostering friendship and goodwill between WA and Indonesia.

The biennial Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally will set sail on May 4, 2013 and expects to attract a fleet of 50 or more ocean going yachts with local, Australian and international skippers and crews urged to sign up.

It is on track to attract the largest field of competitors and recreational sailors in its 31-year history with 21 boats already having expressed interest since the June launch. The 2011 Fremantle to Bali saw 23 boats take part on the blue water event, including eight racers and 15 rally vessels. Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally website
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