Mittwoch, Januar 31, 2007

Who is your sailing hero?

Picture by Jim Bolland (see my Linklist for more information about this artist)

Tillerman made me aware of Gary Jobson´s site the other day and I must admit, Gary Jobson is one of my heros of the "old days". Exactly, the America´s Cup of the eighties. I have been in Newport 1983, watching the final AC races, when "Liberty" with Dennis Conner at the helm lost to "Australia II" with John Bertrand, being Skipper. One day on High Street in a bookshop, Gary J. was signing his latest book "Racing Edge", written by Ted Turner & Gary Jobson. A book which helped me many years later in my match racing career. Gary Jobson wrote me a note into the book: "Smooth Sailing to Manfred". And though, I had only learned my English in school, these two words I felt, is all about it!

Whenever things go wrong with me, be it in sailing or other things, I say to myself: Smooth Sailing, and that has been also what I wished Gary in a mail when he had a rough time, health wise. The Curmudgeon (Scuttlebutt) published Jobsons e-mail address and all the well wishers must have helped that this great sportsman is back on the water. A true hero indeed. Use my linklist for your best advantage. Today it is Gary Jobson whom you should pay a visit.


Tillerman hat gesagt…

Yeah Gary is one of my heroes too.

One of the sailing incidents that I regret the most was when racing in a Laser Masters regatta in Virginia some years ago. I believe Gary had a home near the regatta site and he came out and raced with us. I was sailing up one beat and tacked on a shift without looking too closely at the boats around me. After the tack I looked back and saw that I had tacked (legally) right on another boat's wind and the sailor was scowling at me. It was Jobson. Oops!

Fred hat gesagt…

Uhh, Tillerman, this little story makes my day.

Jim Bolland hat gesagt…

I've been catching up with your blog and when I read 'Who is your
Sailing Hero' I remembered something I meant to tell you last month.

I'm old enough to have experienced many highs in New Zealand sailing.
Geof Smale - now in his nineties and racing Int. One metre radio yachts
very successfully - built and sailed International 14's in the 1950's.
He took his boat to England to see how good the Kiwi fleet was. He
entered the Prince of Wales Cup, a fleet of twenty or more that
contained the guns of England, Canada and Bermuda (guys that had sailed
these boats for years) and dished them out a thrashing! It was blowing,
25 knots at times and two thirds of the fleet gave up. Smale finished
FIVE minutes ahead of another Kiwi boat, sailed by the late Ian Pryde,
who lost his rudder rounding the last mark and hung off the stern of
his boat to steer it down-wind to the finish.

There was still some minutes before the British champion finished! The
Kiwi's decided they were not too bad at Int 14's and went back home and
built Flying Dutchmen to start that class in Kiwiland.

He's one of my hero's, as is Peter Mander and Jack Cropp who won the
Gold Medal (our first in sailing) in Melbourne in 1954. The last year
the 12 sq metre sharpie was used. Mander and four other guys built
boats, the first 'sharpies ever in N.Z. made the sails and went into a
years training. Rolly Tasker would have won but he got caught on the
wrong tack by the Italians and hit them and got disqualified. Never
mind ,N.Z. won Gold!

Then there's Chris Bouzaid who won the One Ton Cup in Heligoland in
1969, Helmer Pederson, a Flying Dutchman Gold at Tokio. Russell Coutts
a Finn Gold at Los Angeles etc. etc.

But the guy pressed my buttons was John Bertrand in 1983. That is the
biggest thing in my book and my wife Lynda. who I met in 1983, brought
me John's book 'Born to Win'. I've read it many times and always though
how great it would be to have John sign the book.

Well it's a funny old life. One of my sons has a good friend who now
runs the Hugo Boss store in Melbourne, where John Bertrand buys his

You guessed it, on the page before the Foreword, on his dedication to
his crew, I have John's words to me; 'To Jim, from one America's Cup
follower to another, Best wishes, John Bertrand'. and under it is a
little caricature of KA 6 with a wing keel. My life is just about
complete. Men are always boys. Well the ones who are have more fun
that's for sure Manfred.

Turinas hat gesagt…

Robin Knox Johnston for making history (First ROW race winner). Bernard Moitessier for style points (he was in second at Cape Horn but was clearly going to win but decided that sailing single-handed was cooler and instead of taking a left turn North just kept going, abndoning the race to RKJ)