Anniversary of Sydney-Hobart Race deaths

Threatening skies complemented a somber mood as skippers, crews and
volunteers gathered together dockside to pay tribute to the six sailors who
have lost their lives during the Sydney to Hobart ocean racing classic ten years

Joining them were family members of Bruce Guy, skipper of the ill-fated
Tasmanian yacht Business Post Naiad, and crew member, Phillip Skeggs. Both
perished during the storm that engulfed the yachts off Gabo Island in the 1998

Matt Allen, Commodore of the CYCA, recalled that 10 years ago a severe storm
resulted in the biggest ever maritime rescue conducted in Australian waters. 25
aircraft, six vessels and approximately 1000 search personnel braved gale
force winds and dangerous seas to rescue 55 sailors. 5 yachts sank and only
44 of the 115 starters make the finish to Hobart. He paid a sincere tribute to all
search and rescue personnel who continue to assist sailors when in need.

Allen also remembered all those who have perished during and because of this
race since 1945, and acknowledged the presence of family members of the
five crew of the Tasmanian yacht Charleston which perished in Bass Strait
when heading for the start of the race.

“The 98 race is a poignant reminder that the sea always holds the trump card,”
Allen said. “Ocean racing, like many other pursuits in life which contain a level
of excitement, will always have an element of danger and risk.”

Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Clive Simpson, joined Matt
Allen to lower a reef into the waters of the Derwent harbour. This was
followed by one minute’s silence to reflect and to remember those who had lost
their lives.

Family members were visibly moved by the ceremony. Mark Guy, son of Bruce,
said that “I never forget my Dad and he is truly missed every day. Today’s
tribute was a very special way to remember our Dad and others who lost their
lives during this race. It is a lasting legacy to my father that safety changes
were implemented after the race.”

Ros Guy, wife of Bruce, believed the memorial service was especially
important for the grandchildren.

As the service concluded, Polaris of Belmont was welcomed safely to its
marina berth, leaving just one yacht still racing, the Tasmanian 30 footer, Nest
Property, which is due to finish during the afternoon.

Father Brian Nichols recited A sailors farewell
We will miss you always
We will remember you always
We will learn from the tragic circumstances of your deaths
May the everlasting voyage be blessed with calm seas and gentle breezes
May you never have to reef or change a headsail at night
May your bunk always be dry
To us you will always be family and we wish you farewell.

Photo: The commemorative wreath in the water at Constitution Dock
Photo by ROLEX/ Carlo Borlenghi