Ocean Racing Club of Victoria announces annual Awards recipients

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) takes great pleasure in announcing the recipients of its annual Ocean Racing Awards for the 2022/2023 season, which were held at a gala dinner at Royal Yacht Club of Victoria on the weekend.

Ocean Racer of the Year

The 2023 Ocean Racer of the Year is Paul Buchholz. This award recognises an individual’s achievement or excellence in ocean racing. This Award also considers the person’s contribution over a number of years in areas such as sailing, navigation, boat preparation, race management, rescue and/or incident recovery.

Buchholz is the owner/skipper of the Cookson 50, Extasea. He is visible in Victorian ocean races and represents Victoria at major out of state offshore racing events. Not only does he reap the results, the well-respected yachtsman is noted for building crews and giving up and coming sailors a go. He also leads the national safety group.

“It’s pretty special,” Buchholz said of the award. “I won it once before, but this one came out of left field. I’m elated. I think my crew had a lot to do with it, said the Melbourne yachtsman, remembering. “My first Extasea turned 30 this year, our first race was the Melbourne to Burnie Race. I’ll keep racing and introducing people to sailing for as long as I can.“

Youth Sailor of the Year

Clare Olding received the Youth Sailor of the Year award, which recognises sailors 25 years or younger for their contribution to and participation in ocean racing.

Olding, a keen sailor who crews and skippers her father’s Summit 35 Vertigo, has raced offshore since age 17 and has done all the ORCV races. She has delivered yachts, coached Cadets and skippered Vertigo at two Australian Women’s Keelboat Regattas. She was also awarded Rookie Skipper when she co-skippered with her father in the ORCV 50th Melbourne to Hobart (M2H) ‘Westcoaster’ in December.

Olding’s father, Tim, proudly says: “One of her great attributes is encouraging other young women to take up sailing, inviting them onboard Vertigo for the opportunity to discover the sport, offshore and inshore.”

Crew Development

Lillian Stewart is the recipient of the Crew Development Award, which recognises crew/skipper that are relatively new to ocean racing who have demonstrated the attitude, commitment and energy required to be a truly valuable crew member.

The Tasmanian began sailing on the Knoop 39, Magellan, at Bellerive Yacht Club 18 months ago. A raw recruit, she jumped at all opportunities and has since done Tasmania’s major races: Isle of Caves, Two Capes and Maria and Bruny Island races. She did the Safety & Survival at Sea course and crewed in the M2H where she experienced up to 50 knot winds from all angles.

Stewart has continued to build her knowledge on other yachts in the Melbourne to King Island and Melbourne to Port Fairy races and has begun double-handed offshore sailing. Hers is the first hand up to undertake diesel and rig checks and she is also committed to minimizing waste, supporting the ORCV ocean microplastics sampling program.

Volunteer of the Year

Delma Dunoon was named Volunteer of the Year, awarded to an individual for outstanding effort and contribution to the ORCV and its members.

“Delma is always there. Above and beyond her contributions to ORCV, members, skippers, crews and partners. Her dedication, focus and countless volunteer hours have substantially contributed to the Club’s ongoing success. She is an ORCV membership evangelist,” said ORCV Commodore, Cyrus Allen, of one of sailing’s often unsung volunteer force.

Reflecting on how she became a volunteer, Dunoon said, “Some four years ago I received an email from Justin Brenan which indicated somehow I’d volunteered my services, so, my first thank you is to my husband Grant, who volunteered my services!

“What a great joy it’s been, working with a passionate group to build something special and for their allowing me to be part of their adventures.”

Robin Hewitt OAM

Outside of the Awards, Robin Hewitt, an ORCV Life member, 2021 Victorian Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and veteran yachtsman, was honoured with an OAM in the King’s Birthday Honours last week.

“The ORCV wishes to extend its congratulations to Robin, awarded the OAM for his services to yachting, in particular for his dedication to safety training and development of courses and for sharing his detailed knowledge with us all. It is an honour to have an ORCV member recognised in this way,” Commodore Allen said.

Full results: https://www.orcv.org.au/results/2022-23/2023M2AB/series.htm?ty=82622

Di Pearson/ORCV media

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OceanRacingClub

Further information: Tim Boucaut media@orcv.org.com

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