'Our' Victorian Keelboat Sailor of the year, 2015

The Black Prince's Halo is glowing

After years of success and accolades, Dave Suda, the ‘Black Prince of Sandringham’ has finally rested the ultimate Victorian sailing crown – Victorian Keelboat Sailor of the year, 2015.

With over 300 sailors at Sandringham Yacht Club for the OTB Marine Yachting Victoria Awards on Friday evening, 19th June, this was Yachting Victoria’s largest awards night yet, recognising the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals, clubs, volunteers and media representatives in sailing throughout the 2014-15 season.

With strong competition for the award from Sydney 38, Hobart Race and highly achieving club sailors, the award to Dave is all the more rewarding. It shows the high profile the class is achieving in recent years in Victoria and Australia and the success the Black Prince has had in it. His achievements this last year have included:

1st Victorian J24 States

1st J24 Nationals

1st One Design Summer Sprint Championships

2nd NSW States (Kaotic)

Yes, a little slip there, only 2nd !  Dave didn’t take Pacemaker to NSW for the 2014 States, but much to the consternation of the Cockroaches, ‘the Bloody Black Prince of Sandringham’ has won three NSW titles in a row in Pacemaker prior to last season. He helmed Kaotic to 2nd place, behind Convicts Revenge with a blended crew from By the Lee, Pacemaker and Kaotic. A bit rough, but he is currently the only Victorian boat to have won the NSW State Titles.

He made particular attention to and dedicated the award to the superb efforts of his long-time crew, Herschel, Sam, Rachel and Damien, standing in for Luke who is recovering from a serious cycling accident, a crew without whom he could not have won this award. It shows clearly that the J24 is a boat where success depends not stars and egos, but on close and exacting teamwork from dedicated real people.

There are competitions Dave hasn’t yet won, but for the time being the Black Prince’s halo is shining a little brighter.