Roger Sturgeon STP65 Rosebud wins Sydney Hobart Tattersall Cup

Saturday, 29 December 2007

An American boat today won overall honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. It is only the third US boat to have won the race in its 63-year history and it’s been 30 years since an American entry last won the Tattersall’s Cup, which is regarded as the most coveted sailing trophy in the southern hemisphere.

This afternoon race organisers ran the numbers on the remaining challenging boats still at sea and have confirmed Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud, the first launched of the new STP65 class, as the provisional overall winner. Sturgeon’s Australian campaign ended today with a perfect scorecard – first on IRC handicap in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour, first in the Rolex Trophy lead-up regatta and now the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

CYCA Commodore Matt Allen advised Fort Lauderdale-based Sturgeon and his watch captain Malcolm Park of their overall win just minutes before the announcement was made to gathered media.

“I’m ecstatic beyond belief,” said Sturgeon, who genuinely appeared overwhelmed by what he and his crew had achieved. “We had a plan and we stuck to it. It’s unimaginable, the odds were huge. It’s [winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart ] infinitely large. I feel like I came to Mecca, meaning Australian boating and yachting, and took away a few trophies. It makes me very embarrassed but very pleased.”

Sailing with a 14-man crew of American, South African and Australian sailors, Rosebud was tipped as the pre-race favourite once it became clear this year’s race would be a fast downwind affair. He paid tribute today to the efforts of his Australian navigator Tom Addis. “In a race like this, you spend a lot of time with the weather people. This starts weeks out. We expected all conditions and we saw all conditions except 40 knots. It went like clockwork.”

Looking back, Sturgeon said he believed that, perversely, they won the race when the boat was going at its slowest. “I’d heard about the Derwent River. It was perseverance out there when things were the bleakest. You see seconds ticking off….minutes ticking off. You lose an hour here, you lose maybe more there and you don’t let that bother you. We won it there, not because we were going fast but because we didn’t let it blow our wits.”

The only two other US overall winners in the event’s history were Ted Turner’s American Eagle in 1972 and Jim Kilroy’s Kialoa III in 1977.

Rosebud was built by California's Westerly Marine and the rig by Southern Spars. Within days of her launch in June, Rosebud had won her class at the First Team Real Estate Regatta in Newport Beach, California.

History of the Tattersall’s Cup

The Tattersall’s Cup is the most significant and historic perpetual trophy awarded in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and was presented in 1946 by the executors of the Estate of the late George Adams, the founder of Tattersall’s Lotteries in Hobart. The name of the 1945 winner was added retrospectively.

The handicap honours trophy for which the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet competes is the George Adams Tattersall Cup or the shorter version, the Tattersall’s Cup.

In 1945 William Adams (great nephew of Tattersall’s Lotteries founder George Adams) tracked down what he believed to be a suitable trophy for the fledgling event.

Designed by silversmiths at Prouds of Sydney, the Cup was originally struck for a trans-Tasman yacht race that never eventuated. Prouds described the trophy to William Adams in the following manner… Hand-wrought 288 ounces sterling silver cup and plinth – 25 inches high under a glass dome. Decorations of mermaids, grapevine and seahorses at base. Lid surmounted with mermaid on crest of wave calling up winner. Entirely Australian origin.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 December 2007 )