The Royal Ocean Racing Club announced this week that Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 is the 2010 Yacht of the Year.
This result has international significance as Sydney Yachts Managing Director Darren Williams pointed out. 'Early this year, Jason Ker and his team started development of the Sydney GTS 37 and 43, building on the design work they had carried out for the Ker 46 'Tonnerre'. It is therefore very pleasing to see Tonnerre voted RORC 'Yacht of the Year.
Ker designed yachts have carved themselves a place in Australian offshore racing history, with three class wins and one overall win from just three races.
The Ker 55 Aera won the 2004 race on handicap and the Ker 39 Towtruck has had two division wins from two starts.
The Jason Ker design 46 footer Tonnerre de Breskens 3 was commissioned in Sept 2008 by Pieter Vroon, a seasoned campaigner of racing yachts, and launched in March 2009 'Tonnerre' was designed to be highly competitive both inshore and off, and proved their capability by winning both RORC inshore and offshore championships for Class Zero in her first season.
Tonnerre de Breskens 3 won the prestigious Jazz Trophy for the overall winner of the Season’s Points Championships (when all races count); the Trenchemer Cup for winning IRC Zero; the Stradivarius Trophy for the best overseas yacht in IRC and also the Somerset Memorial Trophy for outstanding racing achievement by a yacht owned or sailed by a RORC member as voted for by the Main Committee.
<:img 3image002.gif left :>The Ker 46 was winner of class Zero of the Sevenstar 1,802 mile Around Britain and Ireland race, by a massive margin of nearly two days. Tonnerre was in the lead overall for much of the way around but lighter winds near the finish meant that she slipped to third overall behind two 60's.
Owner/Skipper Piet Vroon and his crew showed their mettle in hard sailing conditions prevalent for much of the race including a brutal 48kts on the nose.
Overall it was a spectacular season from a veteran campaigner and great supporter of RORC racing. . In recognition of not only winning IRC Overall by a huge margin, but in particular for supporting and winning RORC races for over 50 years.
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