Trifecta to Diamond Cutter - Ampol Tasman Sea Trophy
This year's Ampol Sydney to Mooloolaba Race was a great triumph for Middle Harbour yachts which filled four of the first five places. Alan Sweeney must be particularly congratulated for his second win in three years and also for winning the Brisbane to Gladstone Race which followed.
It is believed to be the first time that the same yacht has won these two major events.
Diamond Cutter then went on to win the Gladstone to Bundaberg Race completing a remarkable treble on her trip north. Fanny Adams (Jim Allan and Barry Bloomfield) won line the Brisbane to Gladstone Race and the Ampol line honours trophy will grace our cabinets for the first time since Ron Swanson won it in Sundowner in 1969.
Syd Yaffe in Patsy sailed consistently well, and his second place was a just reward for his efforts. This combined with excellent results in the Montagu and Solitary races enabled him to win the Ampol Tasman Sea Trophy without entering the final event, the Gladstone Race. Satin Sheets, skippered by Andrew Strachan from Lake Macquarie was second in the Ampol Tasman Sea Trophy with Peter Gray in Hobo from Port Hacking third. Incidentally the navigator of Hobo in the Mooloolaba and Gladstone races was Middle Harbour life member Frank Likely, the only yatchsman to have competed in every Sydney to Brisbane or Mooloolaba race.
The Ampol Tasman Sea Trophy plus second and third prizes will be presented at the No. 1 Offshore Division dinner on Wednesday 21st May.
Ken White in Salamanda II and Keith Tierney in Kintama also sailed remarkably well in the Ampol Sydney to Mooloolaba race and no one could begrudge them their trophies. Perhaps the most deserving skipper not to gain a prize was Marshall Phillips who owns Sweet Caroline. Sweet Caroline broke her mast a week or two before the race and when Marshall could not get a replacement he hartered Sagittarius (the former Diamond Cutter with Allan Sweeney won the 1978 race), ransferred the safety equipment from Sweet Caroline and had the rating certificate revalidated in the forty eight hours before the race.
Marshall, a Middle Harbour Yacht Club member gained fourth place in No. 2 Division and was sixth overall.
Ragamuffin, skippered by Syd Fischer turned in his usual fine performance to be second in Division one and we should not forget that Syd is a Middle Harbour member of long standing.
A particularly gratifying feature of the race was the praise given by prominent skippers from other Clubs for the conduct of the radio skeds.
To our thanks to Peter Zeins we add our gratitude to Dick McElhinney, skipper of Sea Gatta, Derek Barnard of Penta Base, Ansett Airlines and other donors and particularly to Mooloolaba Yacht Club and Ampol Petroleum Ltd., whose sponsorship of the Ampol Tasman Sea Trophy makes the event