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George Poulos

Edward (Ed) Psaltis. Sailor. Hall of Champions. Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

As notified in a previous entry, and re-iterated in less detail at the conclusion of this entry - in the year 2000, the Greek - Australian Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated.

Many athletes of the original 166 are obviously of Kytherian origin - Psaltis's, Samios, Zantiotis, Andronicus: but the place of origin in Greece of many others - particularly those born in Australia - has not been indicated in the biographies outlined in the original list. Determining how many Kytherians were inducted in the original list remains a matter for future research. To further complicate matters, some of the athletes may have had a parent, or grandparent of Kytherian origin. (A good example is Stephen Girdis, inducted for sailing prowess, whose mother is Kytherian.)

Edward (Ed) Psaltis has been inducted in the Hall of Champions category.

From Pinax, The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Volume 1, reproduced with the permission of the editor, Steve Georgakis.

Edward (Ed) Psaltis was born in Sydney on 7 April, 1961. He commenced sailing at an early age on his father's (Bill Psaltis, (family parchoukli, "Ntessis", or "Ntessi"); yacht Lass O'Luss, and was a junior sailor with the Hunters Hill Sailing Club. Psaltis sailed in his first Sydney to Hobart yacht race as a 17-year old, and has since competed in eighteen of the races.

The high point of his career was winning first place overall aboard AFR Midnight Rambler in the storm ravaged 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. (About which, more later in this entry).

Psaltis has represented Australia in the Sardinia Cup, and the Southern Cross Cup. Psaltis's many achievments saw him voted NSW Yachtsman of the Year in 2000. The selection panel chose Psaltis for this prestigious award ahead of members of the Australian Olympic Sailing team and recent world champions.

He twice won the Sydney-Mooloolaba race in the 30-footer, Nuzulu.

In 1999, Psaltis also won the the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race with AFR Midnight Rambler, only the second yacht to win both the Hobart and Lord Howe Island races - Australia's only annual Category 1 ocean races.

Career highlights include:

1990-95, purchased 30ft Nuzulu.
1st overall 1991 and 1994 Sydney Mooloolaba,
2nd overall, Brisbane Gladstone;
Five Hobart races in Nuzulu.
First in division 1991 Sydney Hobart Race,
1996, purchased Farr 40-ft Midnight Rambler,
First in division, 1998 Sydney Mooloolaba race,
1998 purchased Hick 35 ft Midnight Rambler,
First overall 1998 Sydney to Hobart race,
First overall 1999 Sydney Lord Howe Island race,
1999, elected CYC Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the Year,
2000 Elected NSW Yachtsman of the Year,
Has won every CYCA major ocean race conducted off the NSW coast.

The ill-fated 1998, Sydney to Hobart Yacht race

Fact Sheet


Started: 115
Retired: 71
Finished: 44
Sort Assistance: 12
Abandoned: 7
Sunk: 5

Approximately 1000 men, women and boys - youngest 12
Lost: 6

Rescue Operation
Crew lifted off boats: 55 of which 55 were lifted by helicopter
Aircraft involved: 45 including six services aircraft
Surface vessels involved: three including HMAS Newcastle
Cost of aircraft and vessels chartered by AMSA - $650,000
No estimate of services costs.

Weather Conditions
Wind speed of 78 knots from the west and southwest reported by 2 boats at least
Seas of 10 metre height in the area about 50 to 60 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island

Overall and Divisional Results with corrected times
SAYONARA first outside the heads and line honours

IMS Overall
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis & Bob Thomas, CYCA -
2nd AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia -
3rd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA -
IMS Division A
1st SAYONARA, Farr 80, owned by Larry Ellison, St Francis YC, San Francisco, USA -
2ND BRINDABELLA, Jutson 75, owned by George Snow, CYCA -
IMS Division B
1st AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia -
2nd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA -
3rd INDUSTRIAL QUEST, Nelson/Marek 43, owned Kevin Millar, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Qld -
IMS Division C:
1st YENDYS, Beneteau (Farr) 50, owned by Geoffrey Ross, CYCA, NSW -
2nd AURORA, Farr 40, owned by Jim Holley, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, NSW -
3rd VALHERU, Elliott 50, owned by Tony Lyall, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Tas -
IMS Division D:
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas, CYCA -
2nd NOUMEA, Young 11, owned by Jean Luc Esplaas, Cercle Nautique Caledonie, Noumea, -
IMS Division E:
1ST MARGARET RINTOUL II, Sparkman & Stephens 48, owned by Richard Purcell, CYCA -
2nd BACARDI, Peterson 44, owned by Graeme Ainley & John Williams, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic -
3RD MERCEDES IV, Kaufman 41, owned by Peter Stronach, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW -
IMS Division F:
1ST MISTY, S&S 34, owned by Bryan Clague, Mornington Yacht Club, Vic - still to finish and only boat in class.
Performance Division:
Div 1 :
1st ASPECT COMPUTING, Radford 16.5, owned by David Pescud, CYCA, NSW -
2nd AVANTI, Beneteau First 38, owned by Christopher and John Mooney, Royal Brighton Yacht, Club, Vic -
3rd FUDGE, Elliott 56, owned by Peter Hansen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic -
Div 2:
1st JUBILATION, Farr 40, owned by David James, Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Vic -
2nd BERRIMILLA, Joubert Brolga, owned by Alex Whitworth, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW -
3rd WAITANGI II, Jarkan 10, owned by David Wearn, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW. -
Channel Handicap:
1st AERA, Swan 46, owned by Nicholas Lykiardopulo, Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, Greece - 4.07.0025
2nd TILTING AT WINDMILLS, Joubert 40, owned Thorry Gunnersen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic -
3rd - FOXTEL TITAN-FORD, Farr 50, owned by Julie Hodder, Peter Sorenson & Stan Zamanek - Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW -


Size, costs create turbulence in the wake of tragic '98 race

December 26 2002

By Jessica Halloran

The sky is grey, the light is dull and nothing is shining on the harbour's edge at Rushcutters Bay. Ed Psaltis sits on the deck of his new boat, Midnight Rambler, and says Hobart's "age of innocence" is over. It was lost four years ago.

Psaltis won the Sydney to Hobart in its most tragic year, simply known around the Cruising Yacht Club as "98". He won it on handicap in a tiny Hick 35-footer on cruel seas.

"It was certainly a tough year, (a) very hard year; it was a difficult thing to win when people were dying," Psaltis said, slowly. "We didn't hear about it until the gale was all over, so we just kept pushing ourselves and got through it OK. It was a pivotal year; the age of innocence for Hobart was gone then."

Six lost their lives in that race and the subsequent events and inquiries have altered the event.
"It's certainly changed since . . . the safety was best practice then, but safety like most things evolves and gets better and while it wasn't bad in '98, what we've got now is a higher level of safety . . . but that's part of the problem; the average ...(punter).. can't afford the costs involved," said Psaltis, who will be sailing his 22nd Hobart.

Background, Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame

In September 2000, through the initiative of the Millenium Heritage Council, the Church established the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame in order to record the sporting achievements attained by Australians of Greek heritage who have distinguished themselves at either a National or International level.

The First Inductees

As a result, 166 sportspeople were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, in the presence of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, and the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, during the unforgettable Millenium Ball held on Saturday, 2nd September, 2000, at the Westin Hotel in Sydney.

The evening was a historic milestone that revealed how vast and truly astonishing the contribution to Australian and world sport by citizens of Helllenic descent is, in an amazing variety of disciplines. Sportspeople travelled from all over Australia to attend the memorable event and felt enormous pride and honour at their Induction.

The Commemorative Book

A thouroughly researched book entitled The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame - Pinax, Volume I, coordinated by the Millenium Heritage Sports Committee and edited by academic, Dr Steve Georgakis, was also launched on the evening with the most fascinating details about each Inductee's accomplishments.

Pinax is the Greek word for list. It was used in ancient times when referring to the record of the Olympic Games victors whose names were inscribed on a column at Olympia in Greece. This informative book was published with the generous assitance of the New South Wales government through the Office of the Premier, the Hon. Bob Carr. Only a small number of books remain, however, since the interest generated by the concept attracted the attention of Hellenes around the world. It was especially appreciated by athletes and officials during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Committee is now looking forward to the second edition.

[Dr Steve Georgakis is also the author of Sport and the Australian Greek. A Historical Study of Ethnicity, Gender and Youth, as well as numerous other articles on the subject].

Note: The photograph above is the original photograph in Pinax.

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