Vicky Ellis, the 31 year old skipper of Switzerland, has been awarded a special trophy at the official prize giving ceremony of the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) today at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The Jane Tate Memorial Trophy, which has been presented to the first female skipper over the line in perpetuity since the 50th edition in 1994, was created by the daughter of Mrs Tate, Kath Worbey, in memory of her late mother, to commemorate her achievement.
Jenny Tate (known as Jane) was the first woman to complete the RSHYR. She sailed in the second edition of the Sydney Hobart in 1946. In that year she set sail with her husband Horrie aboard Active and ended up taking over virtually as skipper when he became ill.
“It’s a great honour to receive this award in such prestigious circumstances,” Vicky said at the prizegiving. “But it’s been a team effort and they can share in this accolade. The race lived up to its reputation right down to the line. It has been a unique experience for me and the crew of Switzerland. Thank you."
Vicky Ellis is the only woman out of twelve professional skippers who are leading crew taking part in the 2013-14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. A keen sailor from a very early age Vicky was introduced to sailing by her father and grandfather and began her involvement as training skipper with the Clipper Race during preparations for the 2011-12 edition of the race.
She added: “Clipper Race crew all have a spark about them that makes them different to the rest of the world; it makes them stick their neck out and pursue this wild dream when the rest wouldn't dare. That's what I love about this race.
“The Clipper Race offers the type of sailing I really relish, on great boats with an inspiring crew. For me, a job really doesn't get much better than this.”
The podium placed skippers of the Clipper 70 class in the RSHYR were also presented with their awards. Derry~Londonderry~Doire took line honours with GREAT Britain and Old Pulteney in second and third places respectively.
In addition, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was presented with the ‘Polish Trophy’ which he received on behalf of Clipper Ventures in recognition of the entire Clipper Race fleet for the yacht travelling from the furthest port to compete in the RSHYR.
Sydney to Hobart was the sixth race in the global series of 16 races. Race 7 from Hobart to Brisbane starts at 1700 local time (0600 UTC) tomorrow – Thursday 2 January 2014. Boats will start slipping from Constitution Dock around 1500 local.