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At the helm.

I trust all members have enjoyed a happy and healthy festive season. december was very busy for the club, with the successful conduct of the CYCA SOLAS Big boat challenge, CYCA trophy series (one design and passage), the Rolex sydney hobart yacht race and the awarding of the following awards for yachting excellence.

Darryl Hodgkinson was named the 2011/2012 Ocean Racer of the Year; Gail Harland was named Ocean Crew Person of the Year and was presented with the Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy; Syd Fisher was awarded the Ocean Racing Veteran of the Year for the second time; Phil Eadie was named the Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year and Tasmanian Justin Wells was awarded the Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year.

This year the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race lived up to its reputation as a tough and tactically challenging race. Wild Oats XI and Ragamuffin-Loyal gave us a great race for line honours, and in doing so, reached downwind speeds in excess of 25 knots.

I congratulate Wild Oats XI for breaking her own race record, setting a new time of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, and winning the Illingworth trophy for line honours and the Tattersall's Cup as the overall winner.

This remarkable yacht and crew have secured a notable position in the race's history, as it is the only time a yacht has won the trifecta twice; the first time being in 2005.

Second overall on IRC was last year's overall winner, Stephen Ainswoth's Loki. with Peter Harburg's Black jack finishing third and winning ORCi overall. I commend them on their outstanding performances and wish Stephen Ainsworth, who has represented our club so successfully, all the best as he takes a break from competitive yachting.

Congratulations to all divisional winners and placegetters who are recognised in the Results section of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race wrap in this edition of the magazine.

Of particular note is the performance of Roger Hickman and crew aboard his Farr 43 Wild Rose. They won 1RC Division 4 and placed 13th overall--beating all Division 2 and 3 yachts. Additionally of note is Warwick Sherman, who won Division 2 in his first Rolex Sydney Hobart with Occasional Coarse Language Too.

I am sure all competitors will remember this race for its spinnaker start, incredible downwind sailing on day two, the many match races between yachts within the race and the challenges of heavy conditions experienced at Tasman Island and Storm Bay.

It was wonderful to see so many younger sailors embracing the race this year. And so many first timers, such as some aboard Brindabella and Peugeot Surfrider, and those on Enchantress, Ambersail and KLC Bengal 7, whose Japanese crew sailed for 33 days non-stop to reach the start line.

At the other end of the spectrum we had Tony Cable competing in his 47th race, Syd Fisher (at 85) and Bill Ratcliff their 44th and Lindsay May his 4oth. And Syd has promised he will be back next year.

Ocean racing appeals to everybody--age and gender are no barrier. We had competitors from ages 18 to 85 in 2012.

I would also like to commend Peter Campbell, John Honeysett, Rowan Johnston and John Kirkjian, recipients of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Meritorious Service Awards. Over many years. the four have given their time and expertise to the conduct of the race via journalism, race management and international jury services.

This race would not be the great success that it is without the valuable input and support of our sponsor, Rolex.

Thanks also to the State Governments of New South Wales and Tasmania for the support and logistics they provide through a number of agencies.

Thanks to the City of Hobart and its citizens for an always wonderful welcome afforded to race competitors as they finish; Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and its teams of volunteers; Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race planning committee; the Race Committee chaired by Tim Cox; the International Jury chaired by John Rountree; the Winning family for the use of the radio relay vessel JBW and David Kellett and his communication team and crew on JBW, the media team lead by Di Pearson and finally, the team of CYCA volunteers who assist in the successful management of the race.

Congratulations to Stephen Ainsworth and his crew aboard Loki winning the CYCA's Blue Water Pointscore for the second time. Sam Haynes' Rogers 46 Celestial finished second, with the Ker 40 APR Midnight Rambler, owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik third.

My thanks to the Associates Committee for coordinating some key activities for the Club again, including the Children's Christmas Party and the Christmas Hamper raffle, which was won by Bob Steel.

There is excellent competition in the Summer pointscores. At the time of writing, Julian Farren-Price's Cookson 12, About Time, lead the IRC and ORCi divisions of the Ocean Pointscore and Merlin (David Forbes) lead the PHS division.

In a very close series, Bob Steel's TP52 Quest leads the Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore under IRC by one point from AFR Midnight Rambler, which leads the PHS division. One More No More (Ian and Shane Guaiaaria) leads the Grant Thornton Short Haul Pointscore Series under IRC, with InCahoots (Patrick and Roberta Easton) leading under PHS.

I wish all members a safe and successful summer sailing season.


Commodore CYCA
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Author:Piggott, Howard
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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