Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy welcomed to the CYCA

  • Club
  • NEWS
  • By Damian Maclennan
  • 21 Mar 2018 15:56:07

CYCA Rear Commodore Noel Cornish receives the Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy from Roger's partner of 31 years, Sandy Eastman


This Friday night’s Ocean Racer of the Year Awards will feature a special prize which will be handed out for the first time. It all stems from one of the CYCA’s most legendary figures.

Roger Hickman OAM was a stalwart of the club. A three-time winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race he is remembered with great fondness after a life of immense contribution to the club. In recognition of his role at the CYCA and in sailing and the development of sailors, the Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy will be presented annually to the Bow Person of the Blue Water Championship Winning Yacht.

Hickman had previously been awarded the Ocean Racer of the Year Award in 1997 and 2014. Last year he was posthumously awarded the Ocean Racing Veteran of the Year for 2015.

This week, Roger’s partner of 31 years, Sandy Eastman, presented the CYCA with the Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy, featuring Hickman’s well-earned OAM medallion.

Sandra kindly passed on these words about the creation of the trophy and the meaning behind it:

“I wanted to create something that would allow others to remember just how great a yachtsman Roger was.

Roger won the Sydney Hobart three times, twice on his own yacht Wild Oats, lovingly referred to as Wild Rose, her other name when racing against Bob Oatley's Wild Oats. He completed 39 Sydney Hobart races and won almost every yacht race in Australia at least once.

His death had a profound impact on the sailing community, Hicko was revered for his ability to bring people together, to never let the truth get in the way of a great story and being able to make people laugh.

Roger died of Stage 4, Glioblastoma tumours in March 2016, and was awarded the OAM on the Queen's Birthday list 2017.

Many people assisted in Roger receiving his OAM award. I decided for it to sit in a box on a shelf, seemed selfish, and that by creating a perpetual trophy which could live at the CYCA, the award could be seen by all who loved him whenever they wanted to.

The Bluewater Pointscore was always Roger's most important trophy to win. The challenge was to find a new crew position to receive this award, it was an easy decision. The bow person on today’s ocean-racing yachts is an incredibly demanding and skilful role; it’s certainly one Roger would love to see given this kind of recognition.

(CYCA Rear Commodore) Noel Cornish played a major role in getting agreement at all levels of the CYCA to agree to the perpetual trophy, now the challenge was to make a trophy that reflected the role of a bow person.

They spend so much of their time being crushed by waves breaking over the bow, the only design that made sense was a wave and to reflect the name of championship, it had to be cobalt blue stretching to crystal clear peak of the wave.

The artists who took on that challenge and excelled beyond my expectations were Ben and Kathy Edols. Ben blew the cobalt blue to crystal clear glass wave, Kathy Edols carved and etched the wave. Roger' s favourite half model craftsmen Ron Bugg, carved the two bases from treasured wood, he had kept for just such a special trophy.

Roger always turned to Ron to recreate significant trophies, so that each crew member received an identical trophy to his own. The one theme that ran through Roger's life was his sense of fair play and his willingness to share his knowledge, teach others and to reward those who helped him win his trophies.

He had no idea of his legacy, as it was every person he touched.

He certainly was a very special person.

On receiving the trophy, CYCA Rear Commodore Noel Cornish said, “We are in awe of this fantastic trophy. It embodies not only Roger’s own incredible achievements in the sport of sailing, but also the deep connection our racers enjoy with the ocean. On behalf of  the CYCA I would like to thank Sandy for such a meaningful trophy, we are very privileged. Roger was a much loved member of the CYCA, a great friend and a legend of the sailing community, with this trophy his legacy and positive impact on the sport and the club, will extend for many many years to come.”

Learn more about Roger Hickman and his life through his obituary on the CYCA website here or through this YouTube video.


Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy Image: Hamish Hardy

Roger Hickman OAM Memorial Trophy

Roger Hickman's OAM, a feature of the outstanding trophy Image: Hamish Hardy

Roger Hickman's OAM, a feature of the outstanding trophy


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