The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race came to a conclusion on January 1 at the Royal Club of Tasmania, where the Official Prize Giving took place.
Graham Taplin, commodore of the RYCT welcomed guests and noted: 'No other sport brings sport to the forefront as this great race does.'
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore, Garry Linacre concurred before calling for a one minute silence for Gary Ticehurst, the helicopter pilot who was known to Rolex Sydney Hobart competitors as 'our angel in the sky'. Gary was tragically killed when his helicopter crashed in August last year.
Both commodores thanked the hardworking Robert ‘Biddy’ Badenach from the RYCT. Commodore Linacre said: 'Biddy has dedicated his life to this race,' because he has been a fixture of it for such a long time.
Commodore Linacre pointed out the number of young sailors in this year’s race. 'Jessica Watson and her young crew – their results are a great lead-in for youth to be involved. Laura Roper and Peter Langman (a 22 year-old from Tasmania and 18 year-old from Sydney, skippering family yachts for the first time) are very inspiring to young people.
'We had two graduates from the CYCA Youth Academy, Will Parker and Robert Scrivenor aboard the line honours winner, Investec Loyal. Maurie Cameron and Ian Treleaven were at the forefront of the Club’s Youth Academy, which has come a long way,' he said.
'Tony Cable is with us today, having contested his 46th race to Hobart. What an achievement,' he said.
His Excellency, the Honourable Peter Underwood, A.O, Governor of Tasmania was invited to present major trophies.
His Excellency welcomed all visitors to Tasmania. He said: 'From 88 starters, 77 finished – and what a nail biter finish – 3 minutes 8 seconds separated the two (Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI). It was the fourth closest finish ever – it was as good as it gets. It takes tactics, skill, alertness and cunning; good on Investec Loyal.
'I congratulate all in the Sydney Hobart for the work and support that goes into making this race a success,' he said before presenting the line honours trophy.
This year was the closest finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 38 years, with victory going to Investec Loyal, a Greg Elliot designed super maxi owned and skippered by Anthony Bell. Investec Loyal races for the Loyal Foundation and to date has raised over $3 million for charity.
Robert Scrivenor and Justin Clougher, a Tasmanian crew member, accepted the J.H. Illingworth Trophy for line honours on behalf of owner, Anthony Bell.
Patrick Boutellier, general manager of Rolex Australia presented the two with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece.
Investec Loyal also won the F & J Livingstone trophy for First Yacht Due South of Tasman Island and the CYCA Trophy for placing third in IRC Division O.
Clougher, known to sailors as ‘Juggy’, responded to congratulations, saying: 'I’m a Tassie guy and it doesn’t get any better than this. None of us expected to be match racing nearly all the way home. This one stands out for us – we had a lot of laughs all the way here.
'We had a lot of celebrities aboard who were aboard also to help raise money for the Humpty Dumpty charity, but they were also great guys and put in the hard work – and we got the top result in the boat race,' he said.
Clougher also complimented Stephen Ainsworth on a great result in winning the race overall. 'He was seeking it for a long time,' Clougher said.
'I thank Rolex and encourage all competitors to keep doing this great race,' he finished.
Wild Oats XI (Bob Oatley) received the Jack Rooklyn Memorial Trophy for First Yacht Out of Sydney Heads and the CYCA Trophy for Second over the line
For most meritorious performance as judged by the race committee, the Rani Trophy was awarded for outstanding seamanship to Mary Holley, the radio operator and part owner of Aurora for her outstanding effort in assisting the Radio Relay Vessel JBW in the radio skeds during the race. This was Mary’s 15th Sydney Hobart and she co-owns the yacht with husband Jim, who has completed 24 Hobarts.
The Jane Tate Memorial Trophy, for First Female Skipper, was awarded to Ella Bache, Jessica Watson. The trophy commemorates the first woman to complete the Sydney Hobart race back in 1946, and appropriately it has been won 65 years later by Jessica Watson, who sailed around the world non-stop at 16 years of age.
Carol Mason, the granddaughter of Jane Tate, was on hand for the presentation.
Ella Bache also received the CYCA Trophy for Second Sydney 38. Accepting her trophies, Watson responded: 'A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible. It’s great to see so many young people and two other female skippers in this race. To my crew – thank you. It’s great to have a great crew.'
To the oft asked question of how hard it was to sail with a full crew after sailing around the world alone, Watson said: 'Some days it would have been good to have peace and quiet around me again.'
The Sydney Yachts Trophy for First Sydney 38 went to TSA Management (Tony Levett). This was the yacht’s sixth Rolex Sydney Hobart and her second successive win in this one design class.
Victoire, owned by Darryl Hodgkinson, won First IRC Division 3 and Winner of the CYCA Blue Water Pointscore and received the CYCA Trophy and RORC Trophy.
For the first time, the Rolex Sydney Hobart decided for the CYCA’s prestigious Blue Water Pointscore and Victoire has not only won this, but IRC Division 3 in the race. Her stellar season includes a Class B win in the Audi IRC Australian Championship.
Victoire was also First ORCi Division 2 for the Tasports Trophy and Hodgkinson was thrilled to end the year with so much silverware. 'It’s incredible when you think back to just a year ago,' said Hodgkinson who was crowned Ocean Racking Rookie of the Year at the CYCA on December 13.
For Third Overall IRC, Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer) received the RYCT Trophy and for First ORCi Division 1, the Storm Bay Cup for Third IRC Division 1, Fischer received the CYCA Trophy.
At 84 years of age, Fischer has competed in 43 Sydney Hobart races. The ORCi win in particular is an appropriate win for the veteran ocean racer, as he has been the driving force to include ORCi scoring in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. He also received the Charleston Trophy as Winner of the CYCA Cape Byron series.
In accepting on behalf of Fischer, crewman Keiran Searle said: 'Sailing with Syd is really an experience. His experience is unbelievable and we’re still learning from him.'
Third ORCi Division 3 CYCA Trophy went to Two True (Andrew Saies), who was the overall winner of the 2009 race and until caught in no air near Tasman Island, was in the mix to win it again.
Third ORCi Division 1, CYCA Trophy was accepted by Calm co-owner and skipper, Jason Van Der Slot on behalf of other owners Graeme Ainley and John Williams, while Third ORCi Division 2 for the CYCA Trophy was accepted by Last Tango owner/skipper Phil King.
Second IRC Division O for the CYCA Trophy went to Peter Millard and John Honan’s Lahana, which also received the CYCA Trophy for Third Over the Line
Third PHS Division 2 went to Flying Fish Arctos (Flying Fish Online), while Third Sydney 38 went to The Goat (Bruce Foye, Mitchell Gordon and Tony Clift), with Third IRC Division 3 going to Papillon (Phil Molony). All won CYCA Trophies.
Lunchtime Legend (Robbo Robertson) was Second ORCi Division 3 and Third IRC Division 4 to claim two CYCA Trophies in his successful return to the race after a seven year hiatus.
Second ORCi Division 2 went to Balance (Paul Clitheroe) who also scored Second IRC Division 3 for two CYCA Trophies. The ‘Money Man’ renamed ‘Funny Man’ kept his crew and the media in stitches throughout the race with his daily descriptions of life at sea.
First IRC Division 2 for the Peter Allsop Memorial Trophy went to Vamp (Peter Wrigley). Vamp’s owners, CYCA Commodore Garry Linacre, and Past Commodore David Fuller, loaned their boat to Peter Wrigley for this race and he has rewarded them well.
Second ORCi Division 1 for the CYCATrophy went to Jazz (Chris Bull), while Third IRC Division 2 for the CYCA Trophy was claimed by Jazz Player (Andrew Lawrence).
Yachts travel from far and wide for the 628 nautical mile classic and this year, For Yacht Travelling from the Furthest Port to Compete, the Polish Trophy was awarded to Carina (Rives Potts).
Carina, from Newport, Rhode Island in the USA, is a modified McCurdy, Rhodes and Kaufman designed 48 foot aluminium sloop, built in 1969. Having had a full overhaul, Carina has been circumnavigating the globe. Her campaign started with the Transatlantic Race followed by the Rolex Sydney Hobart and she will now head back to the USA for the 2012 Newport to Bermuda Race, which Potts has previously won twice.
'I thank Garry Linacre and the Flag Officers of both the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and everyone in both ports for a great welcome – there’s nothing like it,' Potts said.
'We had three fathers and six sons aboard Carina for the race - and I promise we’ll be back – everyone has been so gracious.'
Hugo Boss, the British entry skippered by double-handed round the world sailor Alex Thomson, was First Yacht Under 18.5 m across the Finishing Line and received the Apollo Trophy for doing so. Second PHS Division 2 trophy went to She (Peter Rodgers).
Patrick Boutellier, Rolex Australia, took to the stage. 'I am sure you will all agree that the 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart was the best. It is the crown jewel for Rolex. It is only possible because of everyone’s involvement and I look forward to seeing you all next year,' he said before those who have competed in their 25th Hobart races received their 25 Year Medallions.
Tasmanian Peter Fletcher and Victorian Gavin Gourley did their 25th aboard Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah, where they joined others who had previously notched up 25, including Taylor, who completed his 31st.
Tasmanian Julian Freeman was aboard a second Victorian yacht, Shogun, after winning the race aboard Secret Mens Business 3.5 last year, Robert Moore aboard Copernicus, Damien Parkes on his yacht Duende.
Victorian Ian ‘Barney’ Walker on Calm who has taken line honours on three occasions and won the race overall three times, Peter Inchbold was on Wild Rose, Larry Jamieson on Ragamuffin, Greg Johnston on Vamp, while John Woodford and David Hodgson arrived in Hobart on the radio relay vessel JBW for their individual 25th‘s.
The new Lord Mayor of Hobart, Damon Thomas, was next to present trophies. 'Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI duelled the whole way to Hobart – it doesn’t get better than that,' he said.
'I noticed the fantastic atmosphere created by the colour and visual impact. The race can only work if the two clubs and their commodores work together each year,' he said. 'Thank heavens this remains a wonderful icon in our calendar,' he said before announcing the next trophies.
Jonathan Rees from the yacht Whistler took the City of Hobart Trophy for the Navigator of First Tasmanian Yacht on Corrected Time, while Loki’s Michael Bellingham, Navigator of Winning Yacht, had his name engraved on the Bill Owen Memorial Trophy.
Bellingham, who was recently awarded the CYCA Navigator of the Year Award, had Loki’s owner, Stephen Ainsworth, collect his trophy. 'Michael’s been my navigator for over a decade and we wouldn’t have won without his efforts,' Ainsworth said.
Second IRC Division 2 went to Dump Truck (Justin Wells and Edward Fader) which took home the CYCA Trophy. 'Ed didn’t make the race, but I thank him for all the help he gave us in getting us here,' Wells commented. 'Thanks to Rolex too – we’ll be back next year.'
The First Small Boat Across the Line for the Battery Point Trophy also went to Dump Truck, the former Tow Truck.
Third PHS Division 1 for the CYCA Trophy was taken by The Banshee (Corrine Feldmann and Rob Francis)
Second Overall IRC for the City of Hobart Trophy was taken by Living Doll (Michael Hiatt} which also took the Bass Strait Cup, Solo Trophy and CYCA Trophy. The Victorian yacht was also Second IRC Division 1
Second PHS Division 1 went to Wasabi, Bruce McKay. First ORCi Division 3 went to expat Tasmanian Roger Hickman, who has won this division with the same boat that he and his partners sailed to victory in the IOR Division of the gale swept 1993 Sydney Hobart when the boat was called Solbourne Wild Oats which takes the Tasports Trophy.
First IRC Division 4 for the Sir Arthur Warner Trophy also went to Wild Rose.
First PHS Division 1 was taken by Southern Excellence (Andrew Wenham). The former Volvo 60 has been refurbished since Wenham bought the yacht whose name will now appear on the Ransa Trophy.
First PHS Division 2 goes to Quetzalcoatl (Antony Sweetapple, Anthony Bruce and James Lee Warner). Built in Tasmania of King Billy pine, Quetzalcoatl now lives in Sydney where she recently also won the PHS Division for the Gosford to Lord Howe Island race.
First Tasmanian Boat IRC was Whistler. David Rees and his crew have achieved outstanding success in the past two years, in ocean racing and in the Three Peaks adventure challenge in Tasmania and the UK. Whistler’s name will now be added to the Tasports Trophy. Second IRC Division 4 also went to Whistler
Accepting on behalf of Whistler, Jory Linscott said: 'A big thank you to John Hislop who gives us the boat to use,' before asking, 'Is there anywhere better to be on New Year’s Eve?'
Commodores Graham Taplin and Garry Linacre presented Scott Dunn and Alderman Rob Valentine with plaques for their outstanding contributions to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Scott Dunn, who recently retired from Tasmania Police (Marine Division) supervised and monitored the finish of 25 Rolex Sydney Hobart Races. It was his decision to implement the exclusion zone for the line honours winner due the popularity of the finish, which attracts many spectator craft.
Since the death of the late Premier, Jim Bacon, Rob Valentine, as Lord Mayor of the City of Hobart, has been the face of Hobart in welcoming the line honours yacht, the announcement of the overall winners and prize giving for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. He loved to travel out on the water to greet the first yacht, no matter the time.
Patrick Boutellier came back to the stage to present trophies. Designer of Winning Yacht, Reichel/Pugh, whose names will appear on the Alan Payne Memorial Trophy.
First IRC Division 0, Jazz (Chris Bull). This much travelled yacht has contested races in the Caribbean and the USA in the past year including the Transatlantic race and the Rolex Fastnet race before returning for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
'As a non-Aussie, I’ve done many offshore races in Europe and other countries and we took Jazz around the world this year. From my heart, no race pumps adrenaline and excitement the way this race does – it really gets the pulse racing – so thanks to both clubs,' said Bull, who wins the Rushcutter Trophy.
Overall Winner – First IRC, Loki. This yacht is a Reichel/Pugh 63 launched in 2008 and this is her fourth Rolex Sydney Hobart and the 14th for her owner/skipper, Stephen Ainsworth. Loki's achievements include being crowned the 2010 Audi IRC Australian Champion and CYCA Bluewater Champion in 2010/11.
Loki claimed the overall win in last year’s Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and finished an amazing fourth over the line in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, breaking other race records along the way. Earlier this month, Stephen Ainsworth was named CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year for 2011.
Among the silverware Loki collects are the Tattersall’s Cup, CYCA Trophy, RORC Plaque and the Government of Tasmania Trophy. For First IRC Division 1, Loki also picks up the George Barton Trophy.
Patrick Boutellier took great pleasure in presenting Stephen Ainsworth with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece. Loki’s owner later admitted while admiring the handsome timepiece: 'I’ll have to learn how it works.'
Gracious in his win, Ainsworth told: 'I can’t tell you what a huge thrill it is to be standing here. I thank Juggy (Justin Clougher) for his kind words earlier. When we fall off a horse,' he said referring to the loss of his earlier Loki in Malta) 'we get back on.
'I was thrilled for Geoff Boettcher winning the race last year. He sailed all those miles from South Australia and back to compete in 22 races – and here I am after 14 races – that’s a great thing.
'Thanks to the CYCA and RYCT and Rolex – it’s easy to take a sponsor for granted – I really love my new watch. Thanks to my crew – they’re a great crew and I’m proud to sail with them,' he said.
Rolex Sydney Hobart website