Darryl Hodgkinson named CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year

  • Racing
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 12 Dec 2012 20:00:00

Sydney plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson has been named the Ocean Racer of the Year by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, at a gala cocktail party hosted at the Club this evening.

The CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards recognises yachting excellence for the 12 month period from July 2011-July 2012.

Hodgkinson, the owner of Victoire, a Beneteau 45, only just last December was named the Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year (2010/2011), and has since gone from strength to strength.

'Dr Darryl' clinched the CYCA's 2012 Blue Water Pointscore Series from Ragamuffin by five points, having won the Cabbage Tree Island and Flinders Islet yacht races and finished first in IRC Division 3 in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The yachtsman also claimed the Class B win in the Audi IRC Australian Championship, inclusive of third place at Audi Victoria Week, second in the Sydney Harbour Regatta, and won his division in both the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Gail Harland was presented with the Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy for Ocean Crew Person of the Year by Anne Gordon, Sally's sister. Harland has shown true dedication as a crew member of Tony Kirby's X-41 Patrice Six since returning to sailing with the boat three years ago, although she raced successfully with Kirby previously on other people's yachts.

"She is a highly skilled sail trimmer who will grind the winch harder and longer than most of my so called strong crewmen," Tony Kirby revealed in nominating the Sydney Micro Scientific Officer at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

"She is always one of the first on deck and the last to leave during our many (and sometimes rough nights at sea) - all without complaint," Kirby added.

Harland has completed 17 Sydney Hobarts and is second only to former award winner, Adrienne Cahalan, who has contested 20 Hobarts.

Tasmanian Justin Wells was named the Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year. Since purchasing the Ker 11.3, Dump Truck (the former Tow Truck), in 2010, Wells and co-owner Edward Fader have scored some good offshore race results.

Under Wells guidance, Dump Truck finished last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart 35th overall; and finished second in IRC Division 2, despite being at the mercy of uncongenial winds. Dump Truck was also the first boat under 40 feet to cross the finish line.

Wells (skippering) and Fader won the 2011-2012 combined clubs Offshore Championship overall and placed third in PHS in Tasmania.

In late October she finished second overall to fellow Taswegian and Hobart competitor, Martela, in the Isle of Caves Race, won the Bay of Fires race in mid-October, was second in IRC in the Maria Island Race in November 2011 and won Group 1 IRC division in the Betsey Island Race in January from Rolex Sydney Hobart rivals Whistler (David Rees) and Cougar II.

For the second time, Syd Fischer has been named the Ocean Veteran of the Year. Fischer needs no introduction - he has been named the CYCA Blue Water champion a record nine times, with multiple podium places throughout the years. He has also been named Ocean Racer of the Year four times and completed his 49th offshore season in 2011/2012.

Fischer finished second to Victoire in last year's Blue Water Pointscore Series and won under ORCi. At 84, he was the oldest competitor in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, which was his 43rd journey south.

Phil Eadie, navigator on Victoire, has been named Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year. Ironically, he was the inaugural recipient of this award when it was introduced in 2008.

Since its inception in 1985, the Ocean Racer of the Year Award has gone to many of Australia's most notable ocean racing skippers,starting with Tasmanian, Don Calvert, and including Victorians Gino Knezic and Lou Abrahams; South Australian Kevan Pearce, New South Welshmen Roger Hickman, Geoff Ross, Matt Allen (twice), Bob Thomas and Ed Psaltis (twice), Syd Fischer (four times), Bob Steel and Mike Green and last year, co-winners, Sydney yachtsman Stephen Ainsworth and South Australian Geoff Boettcher.

The Crew Person of the Year list of winners includes some of the best Australian sailors who have played significant roles in the success of the boats on which they sailed. Among them are David Blanchfield (NSW), Phil Thompson (NSW), Julian Freeman (Tas), Tom Braidwood (NSW), Ian 'Barney' Walker (Vic), Adrienne Cahalan (NSW), the late Sally Gordon (NSW), Tony Ellis (NSW), Kingsley Piesse (VIC) and last year Peter Inchbold (NSW).

The Ocean Veteran of the Year winners have included: Alby Burgin (NSW), twice, the late Merv Finn (WA), the late John Bennetto (Tas), Dick Fidock (SA), John Walker (NSW), three times, Lou Abrahams (Vic), Don Mickleborough (NSW), Richard Hammond (NSW), Alex Whitworth (NSW), twice, Bruce Gould (NSW) and Tony Elllis (NSW).

By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media


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