Yachting Tasmania Sailing Awards day was held on Sunday 24th November 2013. Paralympic sailor Matt Bugg today was named Yachting Tasmania’s Male Sailor of the Year for 2012-2013, while the Female Sailor of the Year award went to champion Mirror dinghy sailors Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher.
Yachting Tasmanian award winners for 2012-2013, left to right Sean Langman, Katherine Maher, Matt Bugg, Phillipa Calvert, Hugo Allison, Robert Eadie and Sam Tiedemann
The prestigious Bennetto Medal for ocean racing was awarded to Sean Langman in recognition of his many and varied exploits on the ocean, many linked with Tasmania.
Yachting Tasmania president Ed Vincent presented the annual Sailing Awards and announced five new inductees into the Yachting Hall of Fame at a reception at Bellerive Yacht Club.
Tasmanian Sailor of the Year Matt Bugg receives his award from Yachting Tasmania president Ed Vincent
Matt Bugg represented Australia in the 2.4mR class at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, finishing seventh. Since then he has won his fourth consecutive Australian open championship and finished a close fourth in the International Federation of Disabled Sailors world championships in Ireland.
Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher won their third open Mirror Dinghy Australian championship in Hobart in January. Their achievement was even more meritorious as Jessie had to sail the first championship race with a stand-in crew as Katherine was still competing in the Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race.
The Outstanding Youth Achievement Award went to Sam Tiedemann, 17 and Hugo Allison (8) who last season crewed together to win the Australian championship in the International Cadet Class.
Youth Achievement award winners Sam Tiedemann (17) and Hugo Allison (8) who last year won the Australian championship in the International Cadet class
The Bennetto Medal commemorates Tasmania’s ocean racing legend, the later John ‘The Fish’ Bennetto who sailed in 44 Sydney Hobart Races between 1947 and 2004.
This year’s Bennetto Medal winner Sean Langman is based in Sydney but has close ties to Tasmania, in particular down the Huon which he calls ‘my spiritual home.'
His ocean racing achievements including sailing in 23 Sydney Hobarts, finishing fine times second over the line as skipper of the maxi yachts Grundig, AAPT and Investec LOYAL. Four of these races have been in the restored 81-year-old gaff rigged wooden yacht Maluka of Kermandie.
Langman this year has set world speeding sailing records between Sydney and Hobart and Sydney and Auckland in his 60ft multihull Team Australia.
The Yachting Tasmania Volunteer of the Year Awards was shared by Phillipa Calvert, the ongoing chair of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Dinghy Group, and William ‘Bill’ Brown AM, the face of Sailability Tasmania which has introduced sailing to many disabled persons. Disabled Sailor of the Year award went to Access Dinghy sailor Robert Eadie
Melges 32 champion helmsman Greg ‘Enzo’ Prescott was named Yachting Personality of the Year while the YT President’s Award went to Bob Silverberg, the former executive officer of Yachting Tasmania.