The Royal Ocean Racing Club announced yesterday that the Seamanship Trophy, awarded each year by the RORC for an outstanding act of seamanship, will this year be presented to CYCA member Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier and their Brolga 33 Berrimilla.
Having contested the 2004 Rolex Sydney Hobart, the two set sail for the UK via the Falkland Islands, taking 159 days. They encountered severe storms with squalls of over 50 knots and were knocked down during a south-westerly gale south of New Zealand, subsequently having to put into Dunedin as Alex sustained severely bruised ribs.
Having completed the voyage to the UK they then took part in the Rolex Fastnet Race, coming 8th in IRC Class 3, and shortly afterwards set sail for the return trip Australia in order to participate in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is also pleased to announce that 'Yacht of the Year 2005' has been awarded to the Ker 55 'Aera' owned by Nick Lykiardopulo.
This award, known as the Somerset Memorial Trophy, is awarded for outstanding racing achievement by a yacht owned or sailed by an RORC member and voted by the RORC Main Committee. It comes as a result of Aera's success in the most recent Rolex Sydney Hobart where she took the overall handicap trophy.
Aera's success in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is all the more remarkable as it is only the third time a British yacht has been declared the overall winner in the race's 60 years history. The first was Captain John Illingworth who won the inaugural race in 1945 sailing 'Mani' and the second was the late Sir Edward Heath who won with the first 'Morning Cloud' in 1969.
The RORC's annual awards will be presented at the AGM and Annual Prize Giving Dinner on 22 November.
by Christopher Clode