Tuesday, 21 September 2010

CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards – Nominations now open

Amanda Scrivenor - Rookie, Glenn Cooper - Navigator, Matt Allen for Kingsley Piesse -CrewPerson & Mike Green - Ocean Racer. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

by Jennifer Crooks

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced that nominations are now open for its prestigious Ocean Racer of the Year Awards. The 2010 Ocean Racer of the Year Awards will be announced on Wednesday 15 December 2010 and the CYCA welcomes nominations from fellow offshore clubs that have suitable candidates that they feel would be eligible for these awards.

The categories for the 2010 awards are:
* Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the Year
* Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy for the Ocean Crew Person of the Year
* Ocean Veteran of the Year
* Ocean Rookie of the Year
* Ocean Navigator of the Year

Nominations close on Friday, 19 November 2010 and should be forwarded to the CYCA with a brief history of the candidate’s offshore performances and achievements for the period of 20 July 2009- 20 July 2010. Click here to download a copy of the nomination form.

In consultation with the Gordon family, the Ocean Crew Person of the Year award has been re-dedicated in memory of Sally Gordon, who lost her life in last year’s Flinders Islet Race. Gordon was a previous recipient of the Ocean Crew Person of the Year in 2000.

Garry Linacre, CYCA Commodore encouraged Commodores of fellow clubs and yacht owners to nominate eligible individuals. “The 2009/10 offshore season was highly competitive with the winners of the Blue Water and Tasman Pointscore Series only determined in the last race. These awards recognise many yachtsmen and women from around the country, some of whom are icons of the sport and some that participate in the sport of sailing just for the love of it.”

Last year Bob Steel and Mike Green were jointly named Ocean Racers of Year while the Ocean Crew Person of the Year went to Melbourne sailor Kingsley Piesse, who clocks up more kilometres in the air and on the road before he gets his feet wet, commuting from Western Australia to Melbourne and other sailing ports joining the crew of Chutzpah to partake in a sport he competes in for the sheer love and adrenalin rush.

Glenn Cooper, a longstanding crew member of Mr Beaks Ribs, was named as the Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year. No Ocean Veteran of the Year award was presented for the 2008/2009 season.

In a break with tradition, the CYCA last year presented the Ocean Rookie of the Year award to an individual rather than a yacht owner and was presented to Amanda Scrivenor. The young CYCA member is a talented sailor and has shown great enthusiasm in just two years of ocean racing, developing her offshore racing skills under the guidance of Bill Sykes from Wot Yot.

On receiving the award Scrivenor said “I feel very honoured to be receiving this Award tonight as the person who gave me my start in ocean racing, Graeme Wood, has his name engraved on this trophy.”

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 and Sydney yachtsmen Syd Fischer (four times), Roger Hickman, Geoff Ross, Matt Allen (twice), and Bob Thomas and Ed Psaltis (twice).

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 the winners have been David Blanchfield (NSW), Brad Stephens (NSW), Phil Thompson (NSW), Julian Freeman (Tas), Tom Braidwood (NSW), Ian ‘Barney’ Walker (Vic), Adrienne Calahan (NSW), Lori Wilson (NSW), the late Sally Gordon (NSW), Brett Filby (NSW), Tony Ellis (NSW) and Tom Barker (NSW).

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