Legendary sailors Matt Allen and Wendy Tuck have headlined a long list of winners at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual gala function to herald a new round of Ocean Racer of the Year recipients and acknowledge the champions of the Club’s 2018-19 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series.
Established in 1985 by the CYCA, the Ocean Racer of the Year Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of yachtsmen and women Australia-wide and since the founding year the nation’s most recognised offshore sailors have been nominated by their peers and duly awarded by the selection panel.
Allen and Tuck, fresh off an Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore triumph and a Clipper Round the World victory respectively, claimed the prestigious Ocean Racing Yachts Person of the Year awards, with a collection of other honours shared amongst the best performers in Australian sailing.
“It’s an incredible honour not only to win this award but to share it with Wendy Tuck,” Allen said.
“What Wendy has done is inspirational for women in sailing, inspirational for this Club and inspirational for increasing the number of women and the diversity in our sport worldwide.”
CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham paid credit to Allen, Tuck and all those who had competed throughout the series.
“Congratulations to all winners at the CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year and the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series awards,” CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham said.
“This year has been one of firsts – and broken records – and those on the water should be commended for their outstanding efforts.
“Off the water, the sport and the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series continue to grow – culminating in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which in 2018 attracted record viewers across Australia in the Channel 7 broadcast in addition to millions across the world.
“We’re looking forward to seeing even more growth in 2019, the 75th celebration of both the Club and the race to Hobart.”
The Ocean Racer of the Year award is the most prestigious of the CYCA’s five awards and is presented to the leader of an Australian ocean racing campaign who has excelled above others during the qualification period. This year the CYCA announced two worthy winners.
Allen has enjoyed plenty of sailing success throughout his career, but the last 18 months of the Ichi Ban program have been extraordinary including winning the most recent Blue Water Pointscore off the back of last season’s 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart victory. Allen is a former CYCA Commodore and the current Australian Sailing President.
Tuck, winner of the latest 40,000-mile Clipper Round the World yacht race, became the first Australian skipper to complete a second Clipper race and in winning wrote herself into the history books as the first female skipper to ever win a round the world yacht race.
The Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Championship is a yearly six-race series that begins with the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and concludes with the double-points Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December.
“It’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge the elite performances of racers in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series, from the start of the series right through to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,” Audi Centre Sydney Dealer Principal, Steve Cloete, said.
“There’s a wonderful synergy between Audi Centre Sydney and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and we’re thrilled to be involved with the Club and Australia’s best blue water ocean racing series. Congratulations not only to the award winners but all who participated in the 2018 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series.”
CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year award recipients
Dinah Eagle – Sally Gordon Memorial Trophy for Ocean Crew Person of the Year
Dinah Eagle is an 11-time Rolex Sydney Hobart crew person and key member of the Wax Lyrical team. At sea Dinah drives, trims and is a watch leader, as well as cooking, sail packing and anything else to keep the boat racing fast. Her nominee describes her as a team player and a patient mentor to the less experienced team members.
Will Oxley – Ocean Navigator of the Year
The CYCA Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year was instituted in 2008. The 2019 recipient Will Oxley is one of the world’s leading lights in yacht race navigation and an integral member of Matt Allen’s highly successful TP52 Ichi Ban campaign. Oxley is a major contributor to the success of the current and previous Ichi Bans and outside of this role he shares his vast knowledge writing books and articles which concentrate on race navigation.
Anthony Kirke – Ocean Rookie of the Year
Awarded to an owner campaigning their own boat within the CYCA’s prestigious Blue Water sailing program for the first time, this West Australian owner undoubtedly has the best themed Blue Water entry – Anthony nicknamed Captain Kirke and his boat called Enterprise, from the popular original series of Star Trek. Over the past season Kirke organised a remote operation from the west coast, and with his WA crew outperformed as east coast rookies onboard Kirke’s Farr 40.
Bruce Taylor – Ocean Veteran of the Year
Awarded to a stalwart of the sport, Melbourne’s Bruce Taylor is a longstanding and fierce competitor who most recently trumped the fleet overall in the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race with his Caprice 40 called Chutzpah. His current Chutzpah is the sixth in the series of boats by the same name and with previous generations he’s earned multiple top three places in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Taylor knows how to build a team and his core crew have stuck by him for decades.
Matt Allen & Wendy Tuck – Ocean Racing Yachts Persons of the Year
Inseparable after both enjoyed outstanding years on the water, Matt Allen and Wendy Tuck share the Ocean Racing Yachts Persons of the Year – Tuck the first female winner of the award. Allen won myriad events across the period including the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore, IRC and ORCi at the Australian Championships and the 2018 Festival of Sails, and an overall win and a race record in the Brisbane to Gladstone. Tuck enjoyed a year to remember, claiming the 2018 Australian Female Sailor and Offshore Sailor of the Year awards, a Rolex World Sailor of the Year nomination and Honorary Membership of the CYCA after winning the 40,000-mile Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Tuck was unable to attend the event, currently sailing in the Indian Ocean on board Maiden Factor on her way to Fremantle.
Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore award recipients
The following winners were recognised for outstanding achievement over the 2018/2019 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series:
Enigma – Jason Bond
70th Kings Birthday Cup – 1st PHS Flinders Islet Race
Gweilo – Matt Donald & Chris Townsend
Cape Byron Pointscore Series – 3rd ORCi Division 1
Kayimai – Rob Aldis
Tasman Performance Series – 3rd PHS Division 2
KOA – Andy Kearnan & Peter Wrigley
Tasman Performance Series – 3rd PHS Division 1
Patrice – Tony Kirby
Blue Water Pointscore Series – 3rd IRC Division 1
Grace O’Malley – Zoe Taylor
Blue Water Pointscore Series – 3rd IRC Division 2
Cape Byron Pointscore Series – 2nd ORCi Division 2
Tasman Performance Series – 2nd PHS Division 2
St Jude – Noel Cornish
Blue Water Pointscore Series – 3rd IRC Overall, 2nd IRC Division 2
Cape Byron Pointscore Series, 3rd ORCi Overall, 1st ORCi Division 2
56th Halvorsen Brothers Trophy – 1st IRC Cabbage Tree Island Race
46th Woollahra Cup – 1st PHS Cabbage Tree Island Race
EC “Boy” Messenger Memorial – 1st ORCi Cabbage Tree Island Race
Celestial – Sam Haynes
Blue Water Pointscore Series – 2nd IRC Overall, 2nd IRC Division 1
Cape Byron Pointscore Series – 2nd ORCi Overall, 2nd ORCi Division 1
Tasman Performance Series – 1st PHS Overall
“Malcolm Halliday Perpetual” – 1st PHS Division 1
Bass & Flinders Series – 3rd Line Honours
43rd George Barton Trophy – 1st PHS Bird Island Race
Enterprise – Anthony Kirke
Blue Water Pointscore Series, 1st IRC Division 2
Tasman Performance Series – 2nd PHS Overall, 1st PHS Division 2
Cape Byron Pointscore Series – 3rd ORCi Division 2
Comanche – Jim Cooney & Samantha Grant
Bass & Flinders Series – 1st Line Honours, “Pat Cooper Memorial Trophy”
Robert Greenhalgh – Ichi Ban
Tony McLean Memorial Trophy awarded to the mainsheet hand of the Blue Water Champion
Craig Garnett – Ichi Ban
Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy presented to the bow person of the Blue Water Champion
Matt Allen – Ichi Ban
2018 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Champion
Blue Water Pointscore Series – “Jack Halliday Trophy”, 1st IRC Overall, 1st IRC Division 1
Cape Byron Series – 1st ORCi Overall, 1st ORCi Division 1
Tasman Performance Series – 3rd PHS Overall, 2nd PHS Division 1
Bass & Flinders Series – 2nd Line Honours
58th Ron Robertson Memorial – 1st IRC Flinders Islet Race
The Solo Trophy – 1st IRC Newcastle Bass Island Race
62nd Janzoon Trophy – 1st IRC Bird Island Race