2016 Tasmanian Yachting Awards

Sailing has been an integral part of Tasmania’s history. In the late 19th century sailing progressed from just an economic necessity to a recreational past time. Since then Tasmanians have excelled in their sailing pursuits both on and off the water. The Tasmanian Yachting Awards and Hall of Fame recognize the special contributions Tasmanians have made to the sport. Yachting Tasmania has an appointed panel that considers award and the Hall of Fame nominations chaired by Gilbert Leitch. 

Tasmanian individuals, teams and organizations were nominated for the Hall of Fame on the basis of their:

  1. Outstanding achievements in yacht racing or cruising over a reasonable period of time since the inception of recreational yachting in Tasmania; and/or an
  2. Outstanding contribution to the organisation and administration, again over a reasonable period of time since the inception of recreational yachting in Tasmania.

The winners in 2016 were: 


Male Sailor of the Year - Matt Bugg

Matt Bugg has had yet another stellar year of racing at the top level of our sport. He is the pre-eminent International 2.4m sailor in Australia and a regular podium finisher in sailing world cup and Para world championship regattas. Having previously qualified Australia’s position in the 2.4 for the Rio Olympics, he will now be representing Australia at the world’s greatest sporting event later this year. That qualification was by no means an easy task though and he has pulled together some very strong results over the past 12 months, including winning the Australian 2.4 Championship and the Sailing World Cup round in Hyeres, France. He has also podiumed at the 2.4 World Championships, the Sailing World Cup round in Melbourne, and the IFDS World Championships, also in Melbourne. He is currently ranked 4th in the world in the 2.4.




















Female Sailor of the Year - Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher

This year the Female Sailor of the Year award went to a team of dedicated youth sailors. Despite living at opposite ends of the state, these girls have managed to overcome this hurdle and through organisation and amazing commitment have managed to achieve success in the highly competitive 29er class. They have shown determination and prsistance to continue to improve, and their results have been great achievements. Despite having only been sailing together for 1 year, the girls have been able to hold their ground and sail against some of the most capable young sailors in the country. Their results this year have included 3rd all-women team in the 29er Nartional Championship and the Australian Youth Championship and Sail Melbourne. They have also achieved success at other level, finishing third overall, and 1st all-women crew at the Victorian 29er state championship after a very close regatta. They won the Tasmanian Youth Championship on yardstick and in doing so also won the 29er class at the Tasmanian Youth Championships. After only 1 year together and with 2 more years in the youth 29er racing we can expect to see these girls continue to compete at the highest level. 















Outstanding Youth Achievement - Sam Abel and Hugo Allison

Sam and Hugo commenced a fantastic year with a bang, winning the Cadet World Championship in July 2015. After winning the first race of the regatta they fought a tight battle with 58 other competitors from 13 countries, including particularly close racing at the head of the fleet with Ukraine and Great Britain, before going on to win the regatta and claiming their titles as World Champions. The two boys were very supportive of each other, the rest of the Australian team and the other competitors throughout the competition. Since then the two have been helping out at Sandy Bay Sailing Club and passing on their experience through coaching and volunteering at club events.

Sam has had ongoing success throughout the 2015/16 season, being a part of the winning Hutchins Team at the Australian Schools Teams Racing Championship. Later in the season he was victorious in the Tasmanian Schools Match Racing State Championship – going undefeated throughout the weekend of racing, before going to place second in the Australian Schools Match Racing Championship in April. He is currently a Tasmanian Institute of Sport Scholarship holder.

Hugo has since moved to sail as part of a new cadet team and continues to bring his skills and experience in the position to that team. They won the Cadet trophies in both the PJ Super Series and the Crown Series regatta, placed 2nd in the Showdown Regatta and have consistently won, or placed in the top three places in local races and regattas.














Volunteer of the Year - Stuart Hamilton

This year’s volunteer of the year has once again proven the invaluable support and assistance that volunteers provide to sailing clubs around the state week after week. During his 10 years of membership at Sandy Bay Sailing Club Stuart has been a member of the committee for 7 of these years. His main role in the club over this time has been organising training programs and coaches for the youth sailing. One of the recent programs he has introduced has been an after-school training program for youth and junior sailors . This program has allowed children to safely train in their chosen classes in small groups with a coach overseeing and to help them develop their sailing capabilities and experience. He instigated this program and has been a driving force behind it, volunteering countless hours into its organisation and ensuring it is a high quality program to all of the sailors. He has also introduced a “coach-the-coaches” program through which younger sailors receive mentorship from older coaches to help them provide the best coaching possible to younger sailors. This is the first step for many young sailors that may wish to pursue the coaching pathway more formally and provides them with experience and skills that will assist them in future years.


















Yachting Personality of the Year - Hughie Lewis

Hughie Lewis is well known to almost all keelboat racers on the Derwent. Over an extended period of time he has contributed at the highest level to all aspect of sailing at the Bellerive Yacht Club and the broader sailing community in Tasmania. He is currently a member of the BYC General Committee and is very actively involved in the Crown Series, sponsorship and Marina Committees. This year, like many other years, he continues to be the driving force in attaracting sponsorship for sailing events. The Crown Series Regatta would not be possible without his crucial support. Similarly he is a strong advocate and supporter of the weekly twilight series held out of BYC. Over the years he has sponsored, raced and run the post-race presentations every week. His involvement in the presentation, including the occasional dubious joke, is a crucial element to the success of twilights at introducing new people to sailing. It is fair to say that this year’s Yachting Personality of the Year has owned many race boats over the years. This season he has been racing in the competitive SB20 fleet and his skill as a helmsman was confirmed at the latest national titles held at Blairgowrie in Victoria when he came third in the first heat of a very competitive fleet of current and past world and national classes from various classes. This year, as has been the case for many years, he has continued to contribute to sailing in Tasmania, while being an active sailor, a member of numerous committees and a major sponsor to many events. 















Instructor of the Year - Oliver Burnell

This year Oli has consistently gone above and beyond what would ordinarily be expected of a young instructor and his energy and enthusiasm is second to none. Over the past 12 months he has shown exemplary leadership and management skills as a dinghy instructor. He is a cornerstone of Sandy Bay Sailing Club’s Tackers program. He helps mentor up-and-coming assistant instructors as well as providing a positive role-model to younger sailors and instructors. His professionalism and dedication are key factors to Sandy Bay Sailing Club’s recent successes in their Tacker programs. He has also been recruited by Lindisfarne Sailing Club to revitalise their training programs. From this endeavour the club has placed nearly 30 participants through their Tackers programs and this can be attributed to our instructor of the year’s work ethic and management of the assistant instructors.












Coach of the Year - Rohan Langford

Rohan has been an integral part of the development of the Tasmanian Optimist fleet over the past four years. Within TIODA he regularly runs training weekends which aree often 6-8 hours each day. This involves a tremendous amount of prior planning and communication. During training programs he will move between the fleets coaching at all levels from Green Fleet to the Open Fleet training for national and international level regattas. At regattas he will brief all of the Tasmanian sailors each day before they take to the water. Whilst on the water he not only provides quality coaching support, but also psychological and emotional support to the young optimist sailors as they often experience the extreme highs and lows associated with high-level competition for the first time. At the most recent Australian Optimist Championship three Tasmanian sailors achieved selection into the national team to travel to the Asian and Oceania championships. One other sailor was selected into the development squad for sailors aged under 12. These achievements are a testament to the abilities of the coach. Aside from the optimist class Rohan is also involved in assisting the Tasmanian Institute of Sport’s scholarship holders in the Laser and 29er classes and has developed a great deal of respect amongst Tasmania’s youth junior and youth sailors as he proactively works to help them to develop into the best sailors they can be.




















Club of the Year - Sandy Bay Sailing Club

in 2016 Sandy Bay Sailing Club has had an absolute standout year and continue to go from strength to strength. The list of achievements and activities within the club are far too numerous to go into detail, but here is a quick summary:

-          They have continued to run a hugely successful Tackers program and this year they introduced over 100 new children to the sport.

-          To back up this introductory program they have developed a structured “next step” with their grommets and green fleet to keep the sailors in a structured pathway to help them identify the steps required to perform in the sport as well as easing the transition from learn-to-sail course for parents not familiar with the sport.

-          They have developed very strong working relationships with Hutchins and Fahan schools to run successful school sailing programs from the club.

-          They have implemented an Adult learn to sail program

-          They have increased the coaching activity for the international racing classes that care based in the club. This has involved hiring professional coaches to run training as well as providing a mentor to club-based coaches. This helped grow their mid-week coaching program with groups of sailors being coached after school. This opportunities in this program were fully subscribed, which has seen the club-house being used 6-days a week.

-          They ran a number of successful regattas throughout the season including the 74th Australian Sharpie National titles, the increasingly successful PJ Mini Series and State Championships for seven different off the beach classes.

-          They have had considerable success in their grant applications to help them update and replace club-owned assets.

-          They have formalised relationships with two other clubs to help share resources and and enhance the on and off-water services.

-          They have had a number of successes from their racing sailors including,

  • o   1st at the Cadet World Championship
  • o   6 crews being selected for the 10-boat Australian International Cadet Team
  • o   2x 29er crews being selected for Tasmanian Institute of Sport scholarships
  • o   4 Members selected for the Australian Optimist Team.


Bennetto Medal for Offshore Sailing - Paul Einoder

in 2016 Paul Einoder has had a phenomenal offshore season aboard his yacht, Off Piste. After tasting success in 2014/15 he made some changes to his boat set-up and crew for the 2015/16 season. The first outing was the Green Island Race, which he won on PHS by a considerable margin. The Launceston to Hobart was the next goal and the owner and crew of the yacht managed to start verty well, winning two handicap division in the sprint to Low Head. They then went on to win the Launceston to Hobart overall (AMS), as well as placing first in IRC and second on PHS. This success was followed up a few days later when the boat won the King of the Derwent on PHS and AMS as well as achieveing a very strong result on IRC in a highly competitive fleet comprised of local and interstate yachts. He was awarded the trophy for AMS and PHS in the National Pies 3-race series incorporating the race to Low-Head, the Launceston to Hobart and the King of the Derwent.
















Disabled Sailor of the Year - Matt Bugg

As already mentioned Matt is the pre-eminent International 2.4m sailor in Australia and will be representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. His recent achievements are outlined under his Male Sailor of the Year award.




















Adminstrator of the Year - Nick Hutton

Nick is well known to Hobart sailors as well as to many sailors further afield. He is a highly skilled and sought-after International Race officer. In 2015 he was the PRO for the International Cadet World Championships, held at Lake Garda in Italy, he was the PRO for the 2.4m National and World Championships held on the Derwent in January 2016, backing this up immediately as the PRO for the Prince Phillip Cup and National Championships in the Dragons, also held on the Derwent. He regularly passes his knowledge and experiences as a top-level RO to new officials through the Australian Sailing National Officiating Program. When he runs a training course, he follows the training up by providing a mentor role to many Race Officers. Nick's achievements this year aren’t limited to his Race Officer duties though. Through his employment as Sailing Manager at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania he has successfully managed the multitude of racing and training events that the club has been involved in. He was heavily involved in writing the successful bids for the 2018 SB20 World Championships to be co-hosted by the Royal Yacht Club and the Derwent Sailing Squadron, and for the Australian Yachting Championships (formally known as the Australian IRC Championship) to be held at the Royal Yacht Club in 2019. He is also a founding member of the Australian Schools Match Racing Association and was instrumental in establishing the Australian Schools Match Racing Championship, which was successfully hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in April. He is also the competition manager for the Australian University Games sailing program.

















Hall of Fame

Greg “Enzo” Prescott

Enzo has had a long and successful yacht career. Starting in Sabots in his youth it didn’t take long for him to step-up into ocean racing yachts. His offshore career started in the 1980 Sydney to Hobart aboard his father’s half-tonner, Hotshot. At the time, he was the youngest skipper to have ever completed the race at only 18 years old. Indeed, to this day he still the second-youngest skipper to have raced in the Sydney to Hobart and with the age-restrictions limiting participation in the race to those aged 18 years old, his record is likely to stand for some time. The year after his first race he had his first taste of success in the same yacht race, aboard the same yacht. In 1981 he skippered Hotshot to 7th place overall out of 160 competitors.

His yacht racing success didn’t go unnoticed and he then spent a number of years racing for other owners aboard different yachts in a number of top-level regattas around the world, including the Noumea Race, Admirals Cup and One-Ton Cup. Then, in 1994 he returned to the top level of Australian yachting, finishing the 1994 50th Anniversary of the Sydney to Hobart in 5th overall and winning Division F in IMS aboard his J35 named after the sponsors, Southern Cross TV. That year there were 371 competitors in the race.

He has competed in 27 Sydney to Hobarts in boats ranging in size and performance from his half-tonner and J35 to more recent races competed aboard grand prix yachts such as the Victorian TP52, Shogun and the West Australian Reichel Pugh 63, Limit.

More recently he has been known for his successes in his Melges 32, 2Unlimited. In 2010 he entered his lightweight, grand-prix sportsboat in the Maria Island and Launceston Hobart Yacht Races, winning the latter overall and crossing the line in second, against many bigger, more ocean-oriented yachts. He then backed this up the next year, winning the Maria Island race on AMS. After these offshore campaigns he pulled together a mostly-Tasmanian crew to go and contest the Melges 32 regattas on the mainland.

He had considerable success in these regattas, winning the NSW States, the Australian East Coats Champs, the Melges 32 division at Hamilton Island Race Week and finishing 2nd at the Melges 32 Nationals in 2012. The next year he came back, and continued to notch up a number of regatta wins, including the Australian National title.

While the races he has competed in and the number of successes he has had are far too numerous to list out in their entirety, Greg’s contribution to the sport goes beyond results alone. In the Melges 32 campaigns he chose not to hire seasoned professionals as many of his competitors did. Instead, he opted to give some young Tasmanian sailors an opportunity to experience grand prix racing at the highest level, and gave them opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge of how to crew racing yachts successfully. As part of this campaign he also won the 2013 Tasmanian Yachting Personality award.

Greg continues to sail, now choosing to do it in style and comfort aboard his luxury Buizen 52, Infinity.














Darren “Twirler” Jones

Darren “Twirler” Jones, like many of Tasmania’s Yachting champions learned his craft racing Sabots on the Derwent – after starting out in Northbridge Juniors at Kingston Beach Sailing Club in the 70s. In the following years he started working on what has become an impressive collection of national and world championship titles – including two Australian junior titles and one junior world championship in his Moth, back when scows were the fastest designs in the class and well before the current crop of foilers came onto the scene.

When he finished school he immediately took up a position as a sail maker and spent a number of years through the 80s and 90s working in sail lofts around the country while developing and fine-tuning his racing skills in a number of high profile events. Some of the events he raced in include the Americas Cup and IOR 50’ circuit. In 2000 he raced in his first one design Farr 40 world championship, before making the decision to start racing professionally in 2001.

Twirler quickly started to get a name for himself as being “pretty good at making a boat go fast”. This reputation earned him positions on some very successful yachts and in 1994 he started his impressive run in the Mumm 30 class, taking the first of 6 world titles in the class aboard the yacht Foreign Affair. He has continued succeeding in the Mumm 30s, and claimed his most recent world title last year aboard Ramrod.

Throughout his professional racing career he has collected an enormous number of Australian, European, North-American and World Championship titles in a range of one-design keelboat classes. Some of these results include:

-          The aforementioned 6 world championships in the Mumm30s

-          Australian and North American Championships in Mumm 30

-          Farr 40 World, European and Australian championships

-          Swan 45 World Championship

-          Etchells Australian Championship

-          Melges 32 Australian Championship

He has also had success in other grand prix events, winning regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week, Sydney Harbour Regatta, the NOOD regattas in America and the San Francisco Big Boat Series.

These listed so far have just a list of the events he has won. He has achieved top 3 and top 5 finishes at countless other event and in countless yacht, from Etchells, through to TP 52s and has raced on the European Circuits and up and down the East and West Coasts of America in grand prix IRC and one-design yachts.

He continues to race at the highest level and is a highly sought after crew member at the very top of International grand-prix racing classes.