Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore, John Messenger, today predicted sharp increases in teh size of fleets contesting the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race over the next two years.
“I expect we will see more than 100 entries this year and in excess of 200 for the 60th race in 2004, with many more Australian and international entrants,” said Commodore Messenger, whose club has been conducting the 630 nautical mile ocean classic each year since 1945.
Commodore Messenger made his comments at the Trophy Presentation for the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart, held on a hot summer’s morning on the waterfront forecourt of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the race’s new sponsors, Rolex, and in particular its international promotion of the event. He also thanked the Tasmanian Government for its ongoing support of the Race, as well as recognising the support from the Hobart City Council and the Hobart Ports Corporation.
Commodore Messenger also expressed the CYCA’s gratitude to the hundreds of club and other volunteers in Sydney and in Hobart whose efforts had made the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart such an outstanding success.
The Governor of Tasmania, His Excellency Sir Guy Green, the Premier of Tasmania, Mr Jim Bacon, the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Mr Rob Valentine, the Chairman of the Hobart Ports Corporation, Mr Graeme Phillips, and the Commodores of the CYCA, Mr John Messenger, and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Mr Robert “Biddy” Badenach, presented various trophies.
Mr Richard de Leyser, Manager, Rolex Australia, presented the Overall Winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Quest, with the Tattersalls Cup and other perpetual trophies and its owner/skipper, Bob Steele, with a Rolex Yachtmaster watch.
He also presented a Rolex watch to Neville Crichton, owner/skipper of the 90-footer Alfa Romeo, the line honours winner. The watch was accepted on Neville Crichton's behalf by the yacht’s captain, Murray Spence.