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29 July 2004, 11:01 am
One Ton Trophy Re-Dedicated
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Veteran Victorian Yachtsman Lou Abrahams with other Sydney 38 owners © Event Media

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia today announced the re-dedication of one of its most competitively raced-for trophies of the 1970s and 1980s, the One Ton Trophy, as a new perpetual trophy for the Sydney 38 One Design class.
At least a dozen Sydney 38s will race for the One Ton Trophy in the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, a fitting new class to follow the famous One Tonners in level rating ocean racing.

CYCA Vice Commodore Roger HICKMAN and Lou ABRAHAMS, a Board Member of the Sydney 38 One Design Association, proudly showed the newly dedicated trophy at a gathering of owners of Sydney 38s and former One Ton yachts at the Club.

Lou's Sydney 38 is called Another Challenge, but he is waiting delivery of a new boat from Sydney Yachts in which he will contest the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, his own personal 42nd participation in the ocean classic.

The veteran Victorian yachtsman previously raced the One Tonner Ultimate Challenge in which he won the Sydney Hobart Race in 1989 after being a member of the Australian Admiral's Cup team in 1987.

Also present today was Vince WALSH, who raced the One Tonner Boambillee with success and originally presented the One Ton Trophy to the CYCA . "We had great one-design racing offshore with up to a dozen boats competing in club racing and even more in the Sydney Hobart Races," Vince said today.

The Sydney 38 One Design has become Australia's most successful production offshore racing yacht, with hull numbers 62 and 63 currently under construction at Sydney Yachts' boat-building complex at South Nowra on the NSW South Coast.

Of the 60-plus boats launched, 43 are owned in Australia (NSW, Queensland and Victoria) while others have been exported to the USA, Europe and South-East Asia.

More than three decades ago, the CYCA was quick to support the national and international interest in level rating racing between the One Tonners and has followed this with the successful introduction of a one-design division in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Whilst One Ton class yachts were not one-design boats, they were designed to a complicated formula that encouraged level racing offshore without handicaps.

The One Ton Cup became one of the most sought-after trophies in international racing, attracting the world's leading designers, sailmakers and yachtsmen.

Australia won the One Ton Cup in 1971 when Syd FISCHER chartered Stormy Petrel from Charles Curran and sailed it to victory in New Zealand, stimulating interest among ocean racing yachtsman in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the Northern Hemisphere.

The CYCA hosted the One Ton Cup in 1972 with three-boat teams representing England, Germany, the USA, New Zealand and most States of Australia.

One Tonners dominated overall handicap results in Sydney Hobart races for more than two decades, with winners that included New Zealand's Rainbow II (1967) and Pathfinder (1971), when the first three boats were all New Zealand One Tonners. Other winning One Tonners have been Hong Kong's Ceil III (1973), Rampage from Western Australia in 1975, Piccolo from Lake Macquarie in 1976, the Sydney boat, Scallywag (1982), Ultimate Challenge from Victoria in 1989 and Sagacious V from Sydney in 1990.

The Admiral's Cup in England also attracted teams of One Tonners, including Ultimate Challenge and Sagacious in 1987 and Intrigue from Tasmania in 1985, as did the CYCA's Southern Cross Cup in which Vince Walsh's Boambillee was a member of the winning NSW No 1 team in 1969.

Whilst a Sydney 38 has yet to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, they have achieved top results under IRC handicaps, with Lou Abrahams' Another Challenge placing third Overall in 2002 and Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah third overall in 2003.

In addition to a doubling of boats contesting the Sydney 38 division in the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the CYCA expects up to 20 boats to compete in the Rolex Trophy Regatta in December.
Peter Campbell (As Amended by ISAF)
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