Tasmanian Seafarers' Memorial

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 1998

The plaque reads ...

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race1998
Sydney - Hobart
Yacht Race
Died at Sea
Mike Bannister, Glyn Charles
John Dean, Bruce Guy
Jim Lawler, Phillip Skeggs



The 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race was considered the most disastrous in the event's history due to extreme and sustained storm force winds and high seas that claimed six lives. Another 55 persons were airlifted from yachts to shore by helicopter.

Those who lost their lives were:

Michael Bannister (Winston Churchill) drowned, 28 December 1998
John William Dean (Winston Churchill) drowned, 28 December 1998
James Michael Lawler (Winston Churchill) drowned, 28 December 1998
Glyn Roderick Charles (Sword of Orion) drowned, 28 December 1998
Bruce Raymond Guy (Business Post Naiad) heart attack, 27 December 1998
Phillip Raymond Charles Skeggs (Business Post Naiad) drowned, 27 December 1998

Of the 115 yachts that started the race just 44 completed the event in Hobart. Many of the yachts that retired suffered hull and rig damage that ranged from minor to significant.

Winds reaching 70 knots with huge seas off the south-eastern corner of Victoria giving cyclonic conditions around a deep low pressure system travelling south-eastwards through Bass Strait caused havoc with the fleet and extreme weather conditions on land with summer snow on the Australian Alps.