Divisional winners gathered dockside this morning in Hobart for the presentation of winner’s battle flags and the announcement of the overall winner to the public.
While on stage at the presentation, local Tasmanian Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher, bowman of the winning boat Rosebud from the US, was suddenly handed the Rolex YachtMaster by his skipper Roger Sturgeon, the local lad overcome with emotion.
It was revealed today that Sydney 38 overall winner The Goat was lucky to make it to the finish of the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart which finished last night when Capriccio of Rhu crew closed the curtain on the 63rd event.
Skippered by Bruce Foye, a former overall winner, The Goat’s race almost ended when they hit a submerged rock at Tasman Island in the dark in a 20 knot southerly, and broke a third of their keel off.
“It was an enormous job helming and coordinating the trimming to continue to sail competitively,” said Foye who is pulling the boat out of the water tomorrow for repairs.
“We’re rapt … totally rapt!” That was the response of Sailors with disABILITIES skipper David Pescud when told his yacht, a Lyons 54 built in 2000, had won PHS overall honours in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart. With their previous yacht, Pescud and his largely disabled crew won PHS Division A in the storm-battered 1998 race.
For David, a 17 race veteran, and his crew this was the first time they have won an overall handicap prize, and it reaffirms his objective of providing sailing opportunities for people who might otherwise not believe they could participate.
The CYCA’s Audi Winter Series was the start of their race preparations, together with the Audi Sydney Mackay Race in which Sailors with disABILITIES was a divisional winner. “We worked hard on and off the water at getting the boat and crew right.”
Two crew members are dyslexic, one is severely hearing impaired and another visually impaired. This year there were no amputees on board because, according to skipper Pescud, “all our guys got positions on other boats, which is really what we are about.”
But there is no rest for the skipper who is now back in Sydney seeking sponsorship for the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Second on Performance Handicap is Toyota Aurion VI, skippered by Andrew Short in his 14th race to Hobart.
The Bavaria 44, Namadgi, owned and sailed by a syndicate from the longstanding Canberra Ocean Racing Club, placed third overall and first in PHS division B.
“We had a screaming run down the east coast then got caught at Green Cape and again at Tasman Island. Our winning stroke was coming across Storm Bay when we picked up a nice shift and passed eight other boats,” said Namadgi's skipper Rick Scott-Murphy today. This divisional win, for the Canberra Ocean Racing Club, comes off the back of another podium placing in July when Namadgi claimed PHS overall honours in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.
The trophy presentation for the 63rd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be held at the Royal Yacht of Tasmania tomorrow, 1 January 2008, at 11am.
Jim Holley’s Aurora from Lake Macquarie, which started prematurely and failed to respond to a re-call has had a 30% penalty applied by the race committee which has put them last on IRC handicap results and last on line honours.