Roger Hickman’s 29 year old Farr 43 Wild Rose is the overall IRC winner for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014.
Roger Hickman’s 29 year old Farr 43 Wild Rose is the overall IRC winner for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014. Crossing the finish line on Monday 29 Dec, 08:04:43 PM. With an elapsed time of 03days 07hr 04min 43sec Wild Rose and her crew confirmed why many had ranked Hickman and his crew as favourites for the race.
For Hickman, who has completed no less than 38 Sydney Hobart races, it was the second overall win on the same boat in 21 years, though in 1993 it was named Wild Oats, a boat he bought from Bob Oatley of present Wild Oats XI fame. Hickman also won as sailing master on SAP Ausmaid in 2000.
Others on the crew had to wait 38 years, but for his brother Andrew, and sister Lisa, it was first time lucky and an emotional win, given the death this year of Roger’s mother Leslie, who used to plaster the fridge at her Hobart home with media stories of his successes.
“She lived her life through us kids,” he said.
Roger Hickman’s adventures at sea go back a long way, to primary school days in 1950s Hobart when he and his friend Phil Endersbee did their first overnighter on father Jim Hickman’s extended Dragon design Bronzewing. Endersbee was on the crew again today.
So this was a family affair, one for the true believers, a victory for the closest and dearest of friends, people who have sailed through the good times and the tough and the tragic times. And this one was a battle.
“A battle? A battle? It was a tough yacht race,” Hickman said at the presentation.
“From Sydney to Tasman was pleasurable, beautiful down the NSW coast and the lovely Tasmanian coast,” he said. “But Tasman Island to Hobart was just so tough: gales, winds, becalmed, hail. They say it’s a normal Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.”
Was it the hardest?
“From Tasman to the finish, absolutely. That’s also because you think you might do well, you hope you might do well.
“You’re close; you know the boats behind you, the boats ahead of you. You add the anticipation and the challenge that you might win, will Lady Luck look on us favourably.
“So you add that and it is tough. We were losing time on the guys who’d finished, and gaining time on the guys behind us. It was tough. They’re always tough. And you know why it was really tough? Because it was the one that’s closest in your memory.”
Wild Rose, as the leader last night, won the race today after having to wait to see what redress would be applied to the seven yachts that stood by at Cape Raoul at about the same time as she was finishing last night, to see whether they could offer any assistance in a light plane crash incident at sea.
All seven were given a one hour, 45 minute time allowance, but it was not enough to overhaul Wild Rose.