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Ocean Racer of the Year Awards – Nominations now open

by Jennifer Crooks on 24 Sep 2012
Ocean Veteran of the Year John Walker (Impeccable) accepting his award from Commodore Matt Allen - Ocean Racer of the Year Award 2009 © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced that nominations are open for its prestigious Ocean Racer of the Year Awards. The 2012 Ocean Racer of the Year Awards will be announced on Wednesday 12 December 2012 and the CYCA welcomes nominations from fellow offshore clubs that have suitable candidates that they feel would be eligible for these awards.

The categories for the 2012 awards are:

· Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the Year
· Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy for the Ocean Crew Person of the Year
· Ocean Veteran of the Year
· Ocean Rookie of the Year
· Ocean Navigator of the Year

Nominations close on Monday, 19 November 2012 and should be forwarded to the CYCA with a brief history of the candidate’s offshore performances and achievements for the period of 20 July 2011- 20 July 2012. Click here to download a copy of the nomination form

'These awards recognise many yachtsmen and women from around the country, some of whom are icons of the sport and some that participate in the sport of sailing just for the love of it,' CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott said

'I encourage Commodores of fellow clubs and yacht owners to nominate eligible individuals for these prestigious awards.'

Last year CYCA Member Stephen Ainsworth and South Australian Geoff Boettcher were jointly named as the CYCA Ocean Racing Yachtsmen of Year while the Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy for Ocean Crew Person of the Year went to Peter Inchbold. The Crew Person of the Year award was rededicated in 2010 in memory of Sally Gordon who lost her life in the CYCA’s Flinders Islet race (2009). Sally was a previous recipient of the award in 2000.

Michael Bellingham, Loki’s long-standing navigator, named as the Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year. A stellar 2010/2011 season saw Darryl Hodgkinson recognised as the Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year. Tony Ellis was named the Ocean Veteran of the Year, sailed his 45th race to Hobart last year - his 39th with friend and Ragamuffin owner, Syd Fischer.

Since its inception in 1985, the Ocean Racer of the Year Award has gone to many of Australia’s most notable ocean racing skippers, starting with Tasmanian Don Calvert and including Victorians Gino Knezic and Lou Abrahams, South Australian Kevan Pearce and Sydney yachtsmen Syd Fischer (four times), Roger Hickman, Geoff Ross, Matt Allen (twice), and Bob Thomas and Ed Psaltis (twice).

The Crew Person of the Year list of winners includes some of the best Australian sailors who have played significant roles in the success of the boats on which they sailed.

Among the winners have been David Blanchfield (NSW), Brad Stephens (NSW), Phil Thompson (NSW), Julian Freeman (Tas), Tom Braidwood (NSW), Ian ‘Barney’ Walker (Vic), Adrienne Cahalan (NSW), Lori Wilson (NSW), the late Sally Gordon (NSW), Brett Filby (NSW), Tony Ellis (NSW) and Tom Barker (NSW).

The Ocean Veteran of the Year winners have included Syd Fischer (NSW), Alby Burgin (NSW), twice, the late Merv Finn (WA), the late John Bennetto (Tas), Dick Fidock (SA), John Walker (NSW, four times), Lou Abrahams (Vic), Don Mickleborough (NSW), Richard Hammond (NSW) and Alex Whitworth (NSW), twice.

Further information can be obtained from Justine Kirkjian, Sailing Manager, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Ph (02) 8292 7800 or email sailingoffice@cyca.com.au
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