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May 22, 2022

Keelboat Racing Presentation Dinner

Whilst “blue” may have been disappearing from tally boards on the night of the Federal election, it was certainly front and centre as a number of trophies were presented to Blue Chip together with the ultimate accolade of Club Champion for season 2021/22 at Hillarys Yacht Club’s Keelboat Presentation Dinner.

A consistent performance in division two by Keith and Deborah Fisk and crew over the season resulting in trophies for the Ocean Series, Summer Series and Overall Consistency laid the foundation for the award of Club Champion ahead of Overall Consistency winners, John Bird’s Perle in division one and Peter Hibberd’s Hard Evidence in division three.

Sophia skippered by Bruce Utting and Ian Holder’s Bad Habits (of winning) were also very successful in division one collecting trophies for the Summer Series and Mini Series, respectively. Hugh Burton, Cass Castalanelli, John Gregory and David Boyd on Seachange won both the Marmion Reef and Mindarie ocean races however Perle won the Ocean Series. Whispering Jack (Bruce Bradford), Mulberry (Mark Pitt) and Adam’s Rib (Rob Giraudo and Bob Mason) each won a trophy.

In division two Farrouk owned and raced by outgoing Keel captain Des Riley and Gail Riley won several trophies in their break-out season with the yacht including the Commodore’s Cup, Ladies Skippers’ Race, Man Overboard Race and Digger’s Cup. Others to do well in the division included Volant (Emille Janssen, John Ball and Kevin Meta) and Show Me sailed by newly elected Keel captain Tim Tucker.

Resolute (Damian Martin), Intuition (Marc Carpenter), Tosca (Leigh Collins and Stuart Marks), Comfortably Numb (Stephen O’Keeffe), Catabatic (Rob Bills), La Premiere (Gary and Julie Beeck) and Oceans II (Jos Colvin) each won a trophy however Tony Brooke on Mimosa won both the Ocean Series and the Summer Series to finish second to Hard Evidence in the Overall Consistency for division three.

The Most Improved Yacht Performance went to Tim Tucker’s Show Me whilst amongst several highly rated nominees Phil Grove from Sophia was awarded Crew Person on the Year. The contribution of skippers in providing opportunities for sailing on Thursday morning throughout the season was acknowledged and the trophy awarded to Volant.

One could say that the “most expensive” trophy was also the most undesirable in that the Broken Mast trophy also incurred a costly replacement, this year two yachts suffered such a fate, Sheer Magic and Mulberry. One is already up and ready to sail and hopefully the other will be ready for the new season opening in October.

Highlighting the breadth of success in the Club an account of Wayne Pitcher’s outstanding offshore campaign with J122 racer Lithium by participant Neil Harrison and the description of the recent highly successful She Sails event whetted the appetite of many to get out on the water.

Many thanks to those who assisted to make the evening an enjoyable and successful event particularly the food and beverage staff lead by Bianca Rueben and functions coordinator Rhianna Kidd. The food and the service were both outstanding. To our own Keel team of Sue Osborne (for the menu, detail in table settings and room décor), Greg Shakeshaft (results, MC and DJ after the band caught COVID), Graham Atkinson (slideshow), Gail Riley (last minute stand in slideshow operator), Clem Rogers (trophies), Officers Des Riley, Marshall Fox and Kerry Lewis and helpers led by Deborah Fisk, a very big thank you.
Finally an extra special thank you to all the volunteers of the start management team, without you there would be no racing and therefore no evening such as the Keel Presentation Dinner

John Bird

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