Yachting Tasmanian Annual Award winners announced

The Yachting Tasmania award winners for 2011: front row: Matt Bugg, Barry Salter, Katherine Maher, Jessie Atherton. Back row: John Honeysett, Robbie Gough, Stewart Geeves, David Rees - Yachting Tasmania Award 2011
Rob Cruse
Yachting Tasmanian Annual Awards were held at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania today, Sunday 27th November 2011. Robbie Gough, arguably Tasmania’s fastest sailor on a foiler Moth, was named by Yachting Tasmania as Male Sailor of the Year, with the Female Sailor of the Year award being shared by the champion Mirror dinghy crew of Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher.

Yachting Tasmania president Garry Langford announced the annual awards and the latest inductees in Tasmania’s Yachting Hall of Fame.

Foiler Moth sailor Robbie Gough receives his award from Yachting Tasmanian president Garry Langford - Yachting Tasmania Award 2011
Rob Cruse

Robbie Gough, a member of the RYCT, has been instrumental in establishing the foiler Moth class in southern Tasmania and over the past year has competed against the best sailors in the world, finishing eighth overall in the Moth world championships on Lake Macquarie this year. Just ahead of him in the regatta were Australian Olympians Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge.

His plan training and racing regularly (10 races on the Derwent in 25 knots of wind, plus last Thursday) for the 2012 Worlds in Lake Garda next August.

Yachting Tasmania president Garry Langford presented the Tasmanian Female Sailor of the Year award to Mirror dinghy sailors Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher - Yachting Tasmania Award 2011
Rob Cruse

Jessica Atherton and Katherine Maher, from Kingston Beach Sailing Club, finished fourth overall and first in the women’s event at the 2011 Mirror dinghy Australian championships in Perth, WA, and followed this with a seventh overall and a second in the women’s class at the World championships. They are also Tasmanian champions.

The John Bennetto Medal for outstanding achievement in offshore yachting was awarded to Stewart Geeves, a member of Geilston Bay Boating Club, in recognition of his success with his Young 88 Footloose, including winning the AMS and PHS divisions of the 2010 Launceston to Hobart Race and the AMS division of the 2010 Maria Island Race.

The Outstanding Youth Achievement Award went to Mirror dinghy sailors Robbie Hunt and David McAuly from Kingston Beach Sailing Club. Robbie and David were first juniors in the Australian Mirror championships in Perth and followed this with a second junior and 25th overall in the World champion.

The 2011 Sailor of the Year with Disability is Matthew Bugg, also a member of the RYCT. Matt is the current Australian champion in the 2.4mR class and competing in international regattas in Europe this year qualified Australia for a place in the 2.4mR class at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He is well on the way to representing Australia at the Games.

Yachting Personality of the Year award went to David Rees, skipper of the ocean racing yacht Whistler who, along with his crew, has in the past two years finished third overall in the UK Three Peaks Race, also winning the coveted Tilman Trophy this year.

Two Volunteer awards were also presented today, to John Honeysett of the RYCR and Barry Salter of Kingston Beach Sailing Club.

John recently retired from his position as senior keelboat measurer, a role he has performed for the past 37 years, progressing through a number of rating rules including IOR, then IMS and more recently IRC. John, a life member of the RYCT, has been an integral part of the club’s involvement in the Sydney Hobart, including 15 years in managing the race centre.

Barry has been heavily involved in all aspects of the operation of Kingston Beach Sailing club since 2001, including bosun and a member of the general committee since 2004. He has been a regular volunteer for major regattas and championships, including at Wynyard Yacht Club when it conducted the 2010-11 Sabot Nationals.