Haynes pledges return to Sydney Hobart after triumph

1230hrs (AEDT) | Friday 30 December

Sam Haynes has pledged to return for the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in a bid to defend his TP52 Celestial’s title as the overall winner and holder of the Tattersall Cup.

Haynes made his pledge after receiving the prestigious Tattersall Cup and Rolex timepiece for winning this year’s race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Haynes, Vice Commodore of the CYCA, and his crew was presented with the Cup and timepiece at the docks in Hobart this morning, as more crews continued to finish.

The Tattersall Cup was presented by CYCA Commodore, Arthur Lane, while the Rolex timepiece was presented by Rolex Australia Managing Director, Benoit Falletti.

“Every time I do this race I think I’m never going to do it again,” said a smiling Haynes today.

“But yeah, we’ll be back, I think … for sure. I mean, why wouldn’t you? You know, it’s a fantastic thing to do.

“We wanted to come back and try again, and we did. The family support to make that decision was incredibly important to me.”

Haynes and his crew were not short of energy at the dockside presentation this morning.

Despite the rigours of a tough race and celebrations that began when Celestial’s win was confirmed last night, they had the strength to embrace the occasion to the full.

After being presented with the Tattersall Cup and erupting into a chorus of cheers, the crew then threw Haynes from Celestial’s bow into the cold water – as is tradition. Two crew members then followed suit.

“It’s mind bending. It’s a lifetime achievement really. I’ve been trying for this trophy for a long time. It’s an awesome thing … a life changer,” said Haynes after getting out of the water.

“From last year, I’ve been through a process to get to the stage where I’m actually holding the trophy. I couldn’t really believe it until the announcement.”

Haynes was all praise for his crew, saying: “We have a really good team on board the boat.

“A lot of us have sailed together for a long time. We also have some new people on the boat for this year that have been selected to boost the skill set on the boat.

“There’s a lot of us who put a lot of time into preparing for the race this year.

“This is an awesome race. It’s iconic. It’s probably one of the most interesting, strategic, challenging 600-odd milers.”

Haynes said he had been overwhelmed by the support and the messages of congratulations that has come his way since Celestial’s victory was confirmed.

“It’s been an amazing outpouring. I’ve had so many messages,” he said.

“I can’t thank all the people who have actually sent those messages to me because I can’t get back to everyone individually.

“We have fantastic support and a fantastic culture on the boat… a lot of family members are down here supporting us.

“There are people that are home wanting you to be there wanting you to compete and looking forward to a day like today.”

Rupert Guinness/RSHYR Media

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