Congratulations to RSYS Member Paul Clitheroe and the crew aboard Balance – RSHYR Overall Winners for 2015!
After a long day and overnight wait, Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance was this morning declared the overall winner of the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Clitheroe’s major rival for the Tattersall’s Cup, Quikpoint Azzurro gliding over the finish line in Hobart at 07.37.59 hours this morning to claim third place.
A belated birthday present for Clitheroe, who turned 60 in July, this is the first time he has won the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race, but not the boat’s first time. As Quest, it won the 2008 race for Bob Steel, and aboard again were two of his winning crew, sailing master Mike Green, a veteran of 37 Hobarts, and Adam Brown, a veteran of 29 races.
Green also won on a previous Quest in 2002 and took line honours on Ninety Seven in the storm ravaged 1993 race. Brown, was with Green in 2008 and 1993, with an additional overall win on Ragamuffin in 1992.
Paul Clitheroe purchased his fifth Balance mid-last year and it has won two Sydney Hobarts from just five attempts. The 10 year-old Farr designed yacht has represented great value for her various owners, with other great results to her credit.
This morning he said: “It’s an absolute honour to win this great race. I thought the little boat had beaten us, until the Derwent River decided otherwise,” reserving further comment for the official announcement at the boat at 10.00am this morning.
Going into the 2014 Hobart, Balance was leading the chase for the CYCA’s Blue Water Point Score, inclusive of claiming second overall IRC Division 1 in the 2014 Gold Coast race and winning the Cabbage Tree Island Race. When Hobart conditions smiled down on the smaller yachts, Balance finished 36th overall, but was top TP52 and therefore accepted second overall in the BWPS.
This time around, Clitheroe has usurped Rupert Henry’s JV62, Chinese Whisper, to take the CYCA’s series crown after finishing second in the Flinders Islet race, third in the Newcastle Bass Island race and third overall in November’s 180nm Cabbage Tree Island Race.
Clitheroe’s other crew are: Nick Scott Perry, David Keddie, David Taylor, Jason Dock, Matthew Craig, Max de Montgolfier, Tom Brewer, Michael Slinn, Andrew Cribb and Clinton Evans, who becomes the first Norfolk Islander to win the race.
Di Pearson, RSHYR media
Photo (c) ROLEX / STEFANO GATTINI / STUDIO BORLENGHI