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Yachting Tasmania Sailor of the Year Awards

by Peter Campbell on 26 Nov 2012
Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year Rob Gough surrounded by six of the seven member crew that won the Australian women’s keelboat championship, Colleen Darcey, Caroline Walker, Sally Rattle, Heather McCullum, Lauren Davison, Sarah Baldwin and Michelle Edwards Rob Cruse
Rob Gough is arguably the fastest sailor afloat on Hobart’s River Derwent, sailing his high performance foiler Moth class skiff at incredibly high speeds. Today the results of his sailing skills, nationally and internationally, were recognised when he was named Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year for 2012.

The 43-year-old’s remarkable sailing results going back to his teenage years were highlighted when he was also inducted into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame.

Over the past year Gough, a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, has won the 2011 Australian Moth championships in Melbourne and finished an impressive third in the 2012 world championships in Italy.

This is Gough’s third Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year Award, with his Hall of Fame induction record going back to 1984 and listing two wins in the Stonehaven Cup for Cadet Dinghies, three world sailboard championships in sailboards, as well as his more recent successes in the foiler Moth class.

Gough will be competing nationally again at the Sail Sydney regatta in early December with his sights then set defending his Moth national title at Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie and the next world championships in Hawaii.

While Gough sails a one-person boat, the Tasmanian Female Sailor of the Year award was shared by seven Hobart women who crewed the winning yacht, Penfold Audi Sport, in the 2012 Australian women’s keelboat champion in Melbourne.

The crew comprised skipper Colleen Darcey, Caroline Walker, Sally Rattle, Heather McCullum, Lauren Davison, Sarah Baldwin and Michelle Edwards.

It was a double victory over the weekend for Sally Rattle as on Saturday her yacht Archie scored a Group 1 victory in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series.

Sally was not aboard, instead showing a puppy at the 150th annual Tasmanian Dog Show. However, four of her fellow award winners were, with Colleen Darcey, Heather McCullum, Caroline Walker and Michelle Edwards sailing with Scott Brain as skipper and four male crew members.

Outstanding Youth Achievement Award went to 16-year-old Laser Radial sailor Anna Vaughan from the RYCT, who placed sixth in the 46 boat Laser 4.7 fleet at the world youth championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This included two wins and a second.

Tasmania’s first representative at the London Paralympics sailing regatta, Matthew Bugg won two awards: Tasmanian Yachting Personality of the Year and Disabled Sailor the Year. He placed seventh in the 2.4mR class at the Paralympics.

Anna and Matthew will join Rob in representing Tasmania at Sail Sydney next month.

Yachting Tasmania also recognised tireless workers for sailing with the Volunteers Award: Brian Freeman and Scott Price.


Freeman has been heavily involved with Sailability in Hobart since its formation in 1999, including the construction of two Payne 24 yachts and their ongoing maintenance. He also assisted in the organisation of the world and national Access Dinghy championships in Sydney earlier this year.

Scott Price has given enormous service to junior and youth sailing over the past 16 years, including being chairman of the RYCT Dinghy Group, beginners coach and co-ordinator, president of the Australian Sabot Sailing Association as well being Sabot state coach and race officer for many regattas and championships, providing his vessel Ark of Esperence as a committee boat.

In addition to Rob Gough, other inductees in the Yachting Tasmania Hall of Fame were Norman Deane OAM, Alastair Douglas OAM, Justin Clougher and Chris Harmsen.

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