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Sydney entrepreneur Stephen Ainsworth 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 on 12 December
following a year of exceptional success.
The CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards recognises yachting
excellence for the 12 month period from July 2012 to July 2013.
Prior to announcing he would take a break from offshore
racing, Ainsworth won the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore Series
(BWPS) from Celestial (Sam Haynes’ Rogers 46) having won the
2012 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, breaking Brindabella’s 13 -ye a r-
old record to claim a new record for a conventionally ballasted
yacht with his Reichel/Pugh 63, Loki.
Ainsworth went on to win the Flinders Islet and Cabbage Tree
Island races and finished second overall to Wild Oats XI in last
year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart after winning the race overall in 2011.
Jenifer Wells was presented with the Sally Gordon Memorial
Trophy for Ocean Crew Person of the Year by Anne Gordon,
Sally’s sister. Wells is an integral part of the Wild Rose crew acting
as navigator when required and coordinating all logistics for
the boat including entry paper work, crew training and return
“Jenifer has competed in all the CYCA Blue Water Pointscore
Series races, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Australian
and NSW IRC Champsionships, the CYCA Trophy Series, Gosford
Lord Howe Island Race and many other CYCA events,” owner, Roger
Hickman said. “ She has given both her time and organisational
ability to assist, and in most cases ensure, that Wild Rose gets to
the start line. She is a crew member who does it all.”
Sydney businessman Chris Bran was named the Ocean
Racing Rookie of the Year. Since his bought his Beneteau First
40, Brannew in February 2012 “to race in the Hobart”, Bran has
notched up some impressive results. He finished 18th overall
in the 2012 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in which he won
Division 3. He replicated his 18th overall result in the 2012
Rolex Sydney Hobart, with a second in Division 3, after using
the CYCA’s Winter Series for crew training and to explore the
inner workings of the boat.
Bran later went on to secure his first major offshore victory
(although it occurred outside of the award criteria) winning the
2013 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race overall, and won the CYCA’s
Ocean Pointscore Botany Bay race in October as he prepares for
his second Rolex Sydney Hobart.
For a third time, Syd Fischer OBE has been named the Ocean
Veteran of the Year. Fischer has been named the CYCA Blue
Water champion an unprecedented nine times, with multiple
podium places through the years. The 86-year-old has been
named Ocean Racer of the Year four times and completed his
50th offshore season in 2012/2013.
Highlights included being second to Loki after the first
fin. This was
before he stepped up to the 100 foot Ragamuffin Loyal which he
sailed to second on line behind Wild Oats XI in the 2012 Rolex
Next stop was the 2,225 nautical mile 2013 Transpac Race
from California to Hawaii in July, in which he claimed fastest
timefor a monohull(withRagamu
fin 100). In September he
received a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Australian
Yachting Awards which took in his five self-funded America’s
Cup challengers and multiple representation at Admiral’s and
Clipper/Kenwood Cups, captaining those teams and winning
on many occasions.
Michael Bellingham, navigator on Loki, the CYCA Blue Water
champion for 2011/2012, has been named the Ocean Racing
Navigator of the Year. This is the second time Bellingham has
received the award, playing a major role in Stephen Ainsworth’s
Chris Bran – Ocean Racing Rookie of the year; Jenifer Wells –
Sally Gordon Ocean Crew Person of the Year; Stephen Ainsworth
Ocean Racer of the Year; Michael Bellingham – Ocean Racing
Navigator of the Year; Syd Fischer – Ocean Racing Veteran of the
Year with CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott.
named CYCA Ocean
Racer of the Year
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