Posthumous OAM to Roger Hickman

  • June 14, 2017

The late Roger Hickman has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a posthumous Medal (OAM) in the General Division, announced on Monday.

Tasmanian born and bred and a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania since a boy, Roger had lived in Sydney and sailed out of the Cruising Yacht Club for many years,  achieving remarkable success in ocean racing.

The stuff of legends, he won three Sydney Hobart races, as co-owner/skipper of Wild Oats in 1993, as sailing master of Ausmaid in 1996 and in 2014,  again as owner/skipper of Wild Rose (ex-Wild Oats).

‘Hicko’, as he was known to his multitude of friends, passed away in Sydney early last year after completing his 39th Sydney Hobart, again skippering Wild Rose.

Australian Sailing president Matt Allen described Roger as “a great teacher of sailing and seamanship to many”, adding “he always enjoyed being at sea and had an endless number of stories to tell late at night to keep up the spirits of the whole crew.”

“If you were ever in a storm, the person you wanted to have on board was Roger…(he) always had a plan B when things were not going as originally planned.”

“He was the consummate sailor, wonderful mentor and friend to many and this (OAM) is a fabulous recognition of him and for his family and many friends,” Matt added.

Another great ocean racing yachtsman, Syd Fischer OBE was made a Member (AM) in the General Division for his “significant service to sailing as a yachtsman and international competitor, and as a mentor to young sailors.”

During a sailing career that spanned some 55 years, Syd became widely as the ‘doyen’ of ocean racing whose on-water achievements are unlikely to be repeated:

He sailed in 48 Sydney Hobarts taking handicap honours in 1992 and line honours in 1998 and 1990, all with yachts named Ragamuffin.

Matt Allen commented: “Sailing is very fortunate to have so many great servants who have contributed to our sport over many years.  Syd’s unwavering passion for sailing, where it is competing, funding campaigns or encouraging and developing sailors and crews, his enthusiasm never wavers.”

Words: Australian Sailing/Peter Campbell

Photos:  Rolex, Australian Sailing

15 June 2017