CYCA's Great Veterans Race overall

Maurie Evans’ Maholi wins CYCA’s Great Veterans Race - Audi Winter Series 2012
CYCA Staff - copyright
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Great Veterans Race was held today, Sunday 22nd April 2012. Maurie Evans’ Lion 35 Malohi has won the Great Veterans Race from Anitra V and Katinka. The Great Veteran’s Race is the CYCA’s annual tribute to those classic Sydney Hobart Yacht race yachts that sailed south in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s and marks the opening of the Audi Winter Series.

Kathleen Gillett, Jack Earl’s famous double ended ketch that competed in the first Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1945, and a yacht that is synonymous with the CYCA, made her way gracefully around the Great Veteran’s Harbour course, but unfortunately did not finish the race.

All those on the Harbour today felt honoured to be racing on the same piece of water as the grand lady Kathleen Gillett. 'It was great to be part of something so historic and it’s a real joy to see Kathleen Gillett still sailing,' Maurie Evans said.

Simon Kurts’ S and S 47 Love and War relished the conditions taking line honours in a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 35 secs with Nigel Stokes’ classic Knud Reimers designed 75sqm yacht Fidelis second on line, three minutes and 15 seconds behind Love and War.

'We were fortunate with the conditions today as Malohi does well in light airs,' Evans said. 'It’s an honour to win this race and have my yacht’s name engraved on the Windward Trophy – it’s a stunning trophy and there are some great yachts that have won it.

'The crew work was excellent and I thank the race committee for the way it conducted the race and to the CYCA for running the Great Veterans race each year. It preserves the history of the sport and is great to see the grand old yachts actively sailing in the Harbour,' Evans added.

Malohi was built by Jim Perry for Neville McEnnally and launched in January 1956 and competed in six Sydney Hobart races with her best result a third overall in the 1960 race. She has been owned by Maurie Evans since 1996 and previously owned by Syd Fischer. Evans sails Malohi in the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club’s Saturday Harbour pointscore series and was the winner of the 2009/10 Classic Division.

Philip Brown’s Anitra V finished second overall behind Malohi with Paul O’Connell’s Katinka third.

The non-pointscore Ladies Day race for the Jill McLay trophy is also sailed in conjunction with the Great Veterans race as part of the opening of the Audi Winter Series. The Ladies Day race is a tribute to Jill who was a long-term employee of the CYCA and died from cancer.

Sarah Goddard Jones at the helm of Wine Dark Sea. Credit CYCA Staff - CYCA's Great Veterans Race - Audi Winter Series 2012
CYCA Staff - copyright

Fun and colour was the name of the game on board many of the yachts competing in the Ladies Day race. It was certainly not dull on Never a Dull Moment with the crew in their yellow and navy striped crew shirts; co-owner of Wine Dark Sea, Sarah Goddard-Jones, was resplendent in her Hawaiian shirt with an additional stern decoration of an inflatable palm tree; Inkonkoni (Evelyn and Arthur Lane) donned pink shirts as a nod to Ladies Day; and suitable nautical tunes were heard from the helm of InCahoots announcing its arrival to the starting area.

Race Officer Robyn Morton got the fleet of 52 Ladies Day and 20 Great Veterans race competitors underway in a light 5-8 knot north easterly breeze.

All yachts sailed on their respective course B which had them sailing to a laid mark near Shark Island before heading up the Harbour to the Junction Bell mark and back though the gate and to Garden Island and returning to finish in Point Piper.

Bec Nash had great fun at the helm of Eclipse. The 14 year old 'enjoyed bossing the big boys around on the boat and had a great first time at the helm.' Usually a dinghy sailor, stepping up to a Northshore 369 'was a very different sail,' she added.

Nash skippered Eclipse to third place in Division A non-spinnaker behind Plum White (M) and Elizabeth Burke (Brigus). Commenting on her win Plum White said 'we might not let the owner Steve (Hatch) ever steer again!'

Plum White skippered M to a win in Div A non-spinnaker. Credit CYCA Staff - CYCA's Great Veterans Race - Audi Winter Series 2012
CYCA Staff - copyright

'It was a nice sail in a gentle breeze that filled in when it needed to,' White added. 'It was a very tight start with four boats vying for the committee boat end of the line and not much room. I kept asking Steve if there was enough room and he said 'Yes – keep going!'

Justine Tornai (Skeeter) took honours in Division A Spinnaker and was also the lucky recipient of the Audi Weekend drive. 'The moderately consistent breeze suited the Farr 30 today. My husband ran the boat for me - I had great fun bossing him around!' Tornai said. Sara Jane Tomsett (Enigma) finished second with Claire Chalmers (Saltshaker) third.

Rachael Mason skippered Wallop to a win in Division B non-spinnaker with Laura Manuel (Attitude) second and Francesca Kemp (Carats n Kilos) third.

'We couldn’t have asked for better conditions,' Rachel Mason said. 'Everyone sailed well and the results are as expected.'

In Division B Spinnaker, Stephanie Cook (Mortgage Choice Rhumba) took the win, with Daphne Winstone (Devils Lair) second and Merryl Semple (Marigot Bay) third.

The Audi Winter Series pointscore starts on Sunday 29 April with eleven races for nine spinnaker, two non-spinnaker and a Sydney 38OD division. The pointscore series will consist of 10 races, with up to three drops allowed, if all ten races are completed. The race scheduled for Sunday 10 June will be a non-pointscore race.

As well as great Musto gear for the top three in each division, all divisional placegetters go in the draw to win an Audi weekend drive.

Kathleen Gillett competing in the Great Veterans Race. Credit CYCA Staff - CYCA's Great Veterans Race - Audi Winter Series 2012
CYCA Staff - copyright

Kathleen Gillett will also be berthed at the CYCA from 1-3 July to coincide with an information evening that the club is conducting on Tuesday 3 July for the benefits of CYCA members and guests. The evening will be led by Jack Earl’s grandson Ben Hawke and Kathleen Gillett first mate Mick Morris together with historic video material from Earl’s historic 1947 sail around the world. Register today at CYCA reception on 02 8292 7800 or

Enter the Audi Winter Series today here. Series block entries must be lodged prior to race four with casual entries being accepted throughout the season.

For Great Veterans race results and Opening Ladies Day Results click here.

CYCA website