Thursday, 31 December 2009

RSHYR: She rolls into Hobart the Rolex Sydney Hobart PHS winner

SHE, Peter Rodgers, PHS Division 2 winner. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

by Di Pearson

Peter Rodgers did not quite take in the fact that he had provisionally won the PHS class overall in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when he moored at Constitution Dock just before midday today; maybe the slight head injury he sustained yesterday during the race had affected him.

Rodgers was tired after spending five days at sea and was possibly suffering a spot of concussion after being whipped by wet sheets (ropes) as he came up the companionway of his modified Olsen, She, yesterday and hit his head as the boat went through a crash gybe.

When told of his provisional win, Rodgers responded: “Did we win our division – what division are we in? He did not seem to take in the fact that after his yacht had sailed its 14th Rolex Sydney Hobart, a win was finally on the table after previously scoring second places in the 2000 and 2003 races.

Rodgers, a 13-Hobart race veteran, was fortunate to have Colin Apps, an Intensive Care Paramedic aboard who checked his skipper out and bandaged him up, satisfied that he was alright to go on with the race.

“He’s (Rodgers) is OK. We just bandaged him up and made him take it easy for a while,” Apps said.

The 27 year-old yacht, which represents the race organiser, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, has had an extraordinary track record, with only one retirement recorded; in the disastrous 1998 race.

Apart from the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Rodgers keeps his ocean racing to a minimum, the Gosford Lord Howe Island race the only other major ocean race on his calendar, but he and his crew are experienced ocean racers.

Like most others in the race, Rodgers had his tale of woe in what is being billed one of the most “mentally tough” Hobart races in years, due to the constantly changing conditions and the slowness of the race.

“We lost 40 miles coming into Gabo Island and we never recovered from it,” he said, still not quite believing he’d won.

Colin Apps said of Rodgers: “He’s a club man; he makes up the guts of the sport and he’s a great yachtsman.”

Provisionally, the Andy Fairclough skippered Flying Fish Arctos, a McIntyre 55 from NSW is second overall in PHS. Namadgi, a Bavaria 44 owned by a syndicate of 26 from Canberra, is provisionally third. Moored right next to She, the two were celebrating on arriving in Constitution Dock.

Only one yacht remains at sea, Chris Dawe’s Polaris of Belmont, a Cole 43 from Gosford is due in by approximately 6.30pm this evening, meaning all will be tucked up safely in Hobart for the New Year celebrations.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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