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Ed Psaltis
Skipper Ed Psaltis is preparing for a 35th Sydney to Hobart race. Photo: Dallas Kilponen (SMH)
Skipper Ed Psaltis is preparing for a 35th Sydney to Hobart race. Photo: Dallas Kilponen (SMH)

Current City/HometownSydney
ClubCruising Yacht Club of Australia
Boat Owner ofMidnight Rambler Farr 40
Midnight Rambler Hick 35
Nuzulu 30ft
Boats Sailed OnLass i

Ed Psaltis

Edward (Ed) Psaltis has been inducted in the Hall of Champions category. (Edward (Ed) Psaltis has been inducted in the Hall of Champions category.)

From Pinax, The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Volume 1, reproduced with the permission of the editor, Steve Georgakis.

Edward (Ed) Psaltis was born in Sydney on 7 April, 1961. He commenced sailing at an early age on his father's (Bill Psaltis, (family parchoukli, "Ntessis", or "Ntessi"); yacht Lass O'Luss, and was a junior sailor with the Hunters Hill Sailing Club. Psaltis sailed in his first Sydney to Hobart yacht race as a 17-year old, and has since competed in eighteen of the races.

The high point of his career was winning first place overall aboard AFR Midnight Rambler in the storm ravaged 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. (About which, more later in this entry).

Psaltis has represented Australia in the Sardinia Cup, and the Southern Cross Cup. Psaltis's many achievments saw him voted NSW Yachtsman of the Year in 2000. The selection panel chose Psaltis for this prestigious award ahead of members of the Australian Olympic Sailing team and recent world champions.

He twice won the Sydney-Mooloolaba race in the 30-footer, Nuzulu. 

In 1999, Psaltis also won the the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race with AFR Midnight Rambler, only the second yacht to win both the Hobart and Lord Howe Island races - Australia's only annual Category 1ocean races. 

Career highlights include:

1990-95, purchased 30ft Nuzulu.

1st overall 1991 and 1994 Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race,

2nd overall, Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race

Five Hobart races in Nuzulu.

First in division Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 1991,

1996, purchased Farr 40-ft Midnight Rambler,

First in division, Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race 1998,

1998 purchased Hick 35 ft Midnight Rambler,

First overall Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 1988,

First overall Sydney Lord Howe Island race 1999,

1999, elected CYC Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the Year,

2000 Elected NSW Yachtsman of the Year,

Has won every CYCA major ocean race conducted off the NSW coast

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Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race 1991: A winner's Tale

1991 Caltex Sydney to Mooloolaba, The Log Winter 1991
1991 Caltex Sydney to Mooloolaba, The Log Winter 1991

A winner's Tale - Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race 1991

By Ed Psaltis, skipper of Nuzulu

The morning of the race saw blue skies and a freshening north-easter. We positioned ourselves well and achieved what we thought was a very reasonable start. Our satisfaction was soon to pass when we picked up another half tonner, Pemberton III, who had an excellent start, right on the buoy and was powering away in clean air.

Going through the heads we went further on starboard tack than most which paid off, as just out past North Head, we had Pemberton III about thirty boat lengths behind us. This duel was to be the pattern of the race for us.

We knew about Pemberton III's excellent track record and knew that if we were to do well we would need to match her. Another half tonner also high on our list of boats to watch was Public Nuisance, who was never far off the half ton pace "through-out the race.

The first night was very frustrating for us, with thunder- storms and light patches making the race a bit of a lottery. Through some great night racing on that first night, Pemberton III gained a two mile lead over us, a lead that we weren't to re-take until about thirty miles north of Seal Rocks.

For the first three days the race was basically characterised by freshening northerlies during the day and "light 'n variable" winds at night with local thunderstorms. The northerlies all day and into the evening meant hard but exhilarating sailing. We had all crew weight on the rail during those periods to gain that extra bit of speed and height. In addition, we were short tacking to keep out of the current. Having Pemberton III right on our tail made this very intense racing!

Coffs Harbour and the Solitaries passed by slowly and we were beginning to believe we really had a good chance. Every time the fleet "parked" it was to the advantage of the half tonners. By now the big boys were giving us a lot of time, with still a long way to go.

During the night of day four, Pemberton III picked the light conditions well by staying further out offshore, north of Cape Byron. She passed us to take the lead by about a mile. The next morning Nuzulu was like a morgue - we weren't happy! At this stage it was touch and go on handicap between the two yachts.

We passed inside Cook Island (and Danger Reef) in the company of Fujitsu Dealers, Impeccable and On the Beat, about one mile behind Pemberton III. All boats around and in front of us continued on a starboard jibe, to the east of the Rhumb Line towards Point Lookout. Instead, we jibed in on port in the moderate southerly to get out of the current and in the hope that the breeze would switch to the south east, giving us a fast reach, after jibing, to Point Lookout while those outside would be square and slower.

Having passed by almost close enough to pick out the Surfers Paradise bikinis, the breeze to our excitement, did switch by about 15 to 20 degrees to the south east. Our move had paid off as we came surfing back out to Pemberton III, we found ourselves about fifteen minutes in front of her. At this stage we knew we had a great chance. All boats in front we had on handicap if the breeze stayed in and our arch rival was behind us for the final run home.

All went well for us and the desired result was achieved. It was a great advertisement for the sport that having competed very hard against our opponents we were able to mix with them in the bar later to "swap notes" as "best of mates" - not many sports are like that.

All praise must go to my crew for their efforts - co-owner and main trimmer Peter Ward, "Vinney the toe cutter", Neil Cavana on runners, John Whitfield doing halyards, Steward Duff as headsail trimmer, and Bob, "the Janitor" Thomas our navigator and forward hand who was superb in his "rock-hopping" (between changing sails) and instrumental in our move to "go in", at Surfers Paradise. I believe I would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated crew who got on better than us.

The race itself continues to be very challenging and if at all, possible, we will be back again next year, hoping for the same competition and weather conditions!

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