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Sydney Hobart - 20-year remembrance speech

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 26 Dec 2018 23:34 PST From Dec 26
AFR Midnight Rambler - the Hick 34 in Bass Strait in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race - probably the best known image of this classic race © Richard Bennett Photography

The Radio Relay vessel read out this speech ahead of the 1705hrs Radio Sched in remembrance of the six lives lost in the ill-fated 1998 Sydney Hobart Race. It is the one used by the CYCA Commodore of the day, Hugo van Kretschmar, dockside in Hobart all those years ago.

In a moving and emotional eulogy, Commodore Hugo van Kretschmar of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the club that has organized and conducted the Sydney-to-Hobart race every Christmas since 1945, said:

''We will miss you; we will remember you always; we will learn from the tragic circumstances of your passing."

''May the everlasting voyage you have now embarked on be blessed with calm seas and gentle breezes. May you never have to reef or change a headsail in the night. May your bunk always be warm and dry.''

British Olympic Star Class sailor Glyn Charles was lost from the Sword of Orion; Bruce Guy and Phil Skeggs from Business Post Naiad; and Jim Lawler, Mike Bannister and John Dean, were lost from the liferaft of the veteran cutter, Winston Churchill

Ed: In addition to paying respect to the lost sailors and their families, I would like to acknowledge and thank the supreme Richard Bennett for the use of his image (as always he will be near Mures on Constitution Dock to look at this year's images), and also to him and his pilot for going up to get said image in the first place! Remember, these were horrific conditions...

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