PREMATURE FINISH: Tom Barker's Victoire yacht was forced to abandon the Sydney to Hobart race due to a serious injury to owner Darryl Hodgkinson.
PREMATURE FINISH: Tom Barker's Victoire yacht was forced to abandon the Sydney to Hobart race due to a serious injury to owner Darryl Hodgkinson. NICK KOSSATCH

Victoire owner thrown in galley

IT WAS a dramatic and premature finish for ex-Port Curtis Sailing Club sailor Tom Barker and his crew on Victoire at the Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2015 yacht race.

The Cookson 50 boat was forced to turn back to Sydney on the second morning after a serious injury to owner Darryl Hodgkinson who suffered rib and vertebrae damage.

Barker said despite Hodgkinson's determination for his 12-man crew to continue the race, it was decided that the owner's well-being was first and foremost.

"Darryl was in the kitchen preparing the crew food and coffee in the galley and he took a fall after the boat fell off a particularly big wave," Barker said.

"He was in a fair amount of pain, but was very keen to continue and it took a fair bit of convincing.

"Given it was early in the race, we made the decision to head back to Sydney which took about 30 hours and to look after our crew was first and foremost."

It was an unfortunate and premature end because at that stage Victoire was in an excellent position to challenge toward the latter stages.

"It would've been very interesting at the finish of the race and we were prepared for the bad conditions and the boat and crew were handling the conditions really well," Barker added.

"We will be back again next year to have another crack at it."

There were three other former Gladstone sailors who also had mixed fortunes in the famous boat race.

Jonathon Drummond, on Ichi Ban, finished in sixth place out of 77 boats that actually finished the race which endured a squally southerly buster on the first night on Boxing Day.

The news was not so good for ex-local Tony Craner, who was the navigator on Samurai Jack.

The Bruce Farr-designed yacht had to withdraw due to damage of the sail caused by the strong southerly winds.

Marty Watson, who is on Midnight Rambler, is currently in 39th position as the Ker Yacht Design boat closes in on Hobart.

A total of 31 yachts were forced to retire due to the heavy weather conditions at this stage.

PLACINGS

6th: Ichi Ban - Jonathon Drummond

DID NOT FINISH: Samurai Jack - Tony Craner

DID NOT FINISH: Victoire - Tom Barker

Currently 39th: Midnight Rambler - Marty Watson



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