Bob Steel wins his second Rolex Sydney Hobart

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 29 Dec 2008 12:09:00
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Announcement of IRC Overall winner and presentation of the Tattersall's Cup L-R: CYCA Commodore Matt Allen, Bob Steel, owner of Quest, RYCT Commodore Clive Simpson and Richard De Leyser, General Manager Rolex Australia with the trophies

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One of Sydney’s most successful yachtsmen, Bob Steel, today completed a rare double in the history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when his latest Quest was declared the overall winner of the 2008 race, the winner on corrected time.

One of Sydney’s most successful yachtsmen, Bob Steel, today completed a rare double in the history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when his latest Quest was declared the overall winner of the 2008 race, the winner on corrected time.

For that he receives the ‘sailors prize’, the Tattersall’s Cup, the trophy he first won in 2002 with a previous Quest, a Nelson/Marek 46.

“I am humble about the double.  To win it twice is sensational, the fight was pretty daunting,” said Steel.

His third and latest Quest is a TP52, with which he had already won the 2008 Skandia Geelong Week and finished second in the 2008 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Race.

Steel’s crew is one of the most experienced in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in terms of the number of Hobart races completed – 170 between 14 crew.

When told the news this morning by the Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Matt Allen, Steel replied: “We did our very best.”

“Your best was good enough,” Allen replied.

Quest crossed the finish line at 2pm on Sunday, four and half hours behind the line honours winner Wild Oats XI and at the head of the highly-competitive TP52 fleet that competed in the race.

Steel is a former tourism entrepreneur in Sydney and is semi-retired.  He was named the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Racer of the Year in 2003 following that 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart win and in the same year was named Australian IRC Offshore Champion.

His record with his latest Quest is equally impressive.

"This is the greatest sport in the world,” Steel said as Allen presented him with the Tattersall’s Cup.

"Anyone can take part in it – from the young to the very old, like me.

"This has been one of the best and strongest fleets in a Hobart ever.  To be in front of this fleet and to take home this amazing trophy and my second Rolex makes me proud of the crew and the boat.”

Rolex Sydney Hobart first timer, Sydney based Quest crewman Stuart McCuaig, 26, was proud as punch this morning.  McCuaig only joined the Quest crew this year and when the offer came up to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart he jumped at the chance.

Given there was still some uncertainty late yesterday about the provisional winner, Quest’s crew celebrations were fairly tempered last night, “we went out and celebrated being the first TP52 home” added McCuaig.

Previous Rolex Sydney Hobart multiple overall winners include GD Gibson in 1947, 1948; Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen in 1954, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1965; Vic Meyer 1956, 1962; Graham Newland 1958, 1960; Peter Kurts 1974, 1978 (his boat Love and War won a third time in 2006); Lou Abrahams 1983, 1989; Gary Appleby 1985, 1990.

Bob Steel's Quest in action during the start of the 64th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Image: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

Bob Steel's Quest in action during the start of the 64th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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