Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand gave its users the opportunity to choose one site to be highlighted as the Pick of the Year and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race web site has been named 2003 Site of the Year!
A late surge of on-line voting on the final day of the competition, December 31, cemented the Rolex Sydney Hobart web site's top position.
"Traffic to the site was beyond expectations, with 569,626 user sessions and 5.6 million page hits, a 250% increase on 2002," said CYCA web developer Adrian Wiggins from Massive Interactive.
Hitwise.com.au statistics reveal the incredible traffic propelled the site to become the number one sports site for Australian internet users over the first three days of the race, ousting racetab.com.au and theworldgame.com.au from their customary positions.
For the same period in 2002 the site peaked at the number two spot in the sports category. Needless to say the site also trounced other yachting sites with over 65% of traffic in Hitwise.com.au's Sports - Yachting/Boating subcategory.
"We were in a fortunate position as we were able to capitalise on our audiences' positive experience accessing the Rolex Sydney Hobart web site and turn this into votes for the Yahoo! Award," said Martin James, CYCA Rear Commodore.
"Having spent thousands of hours developing the site, we are extremely pleased that our concept for a website for our great ocean race has been validated first by collecting a Silver World Medal in the Best Innovative Feature category of the 2003 New York Festivals Interactive Awards in December and secondly by being named Yahoo!'s top site for 2003 in Australia and New Zealand.
"From the number of user sessions, as well as emails sent to the Club, we can see that members and other users found the web site a useful way to view up-to-date information about the race and to see how their family and friends were progressing," James added.
Responding to the Yahoo! announcement, the CEO of Massive Interactive, Ron Downey, said: "It's gratifying to see the immense popularity of this site recognised by Yahoo! This win affirms the place of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race site as one of the world's preeminent yachting sites."