When did you start sailing?
At age 14, I called into The Royal Port Nicolson Yacht Club’s centreboard shed at Oriental Bay Wellington which was nearest to my home to see what type of yachts they had in there. Luckily I met a fellow my age who was looking for a forward hand to help sail his Z class so that was my introduction to sailing. There were very few places where you could get formal training in those days you just sorted it out as you went along. We learned a lot in that boat as it had a leaky fwd compartment which filled up and made the boat nose dive off the wind. Interesting. His next boat was an Idle Along his father had built for him with our help of course and it was a very different story. We had some very exciting rides in her.
What are your other hobbies? We heard something about car racing?
A few model aircraft for the grand children. Yachting! Early days more model aircraft, a few Car Club events, Picture framing. Yachting.
What is your nickname?… and why?
My nickname associated with yachting is Captain Tweaky as I was always trying to make the boat go faster ( tweaking it’s called ) even when cruising. The name followed me everywhere I sailed.
What is your most memorable moment on the ocean?
There have been a few things like lightning striking the sea a short distance away off Cape Brett in the BOI, or surfing through the entrance to Tutukaka Harbour in a NE gale but I think the one that sticks in my mind is coming into an inlet in the Marlborough Sounds in our Trimaran reasonably close to the shore and while trying to identify a strange looking bird in a tree we put the centre hull onto a flat topped rock which brought us to a very gentle stop. While I searched for leaks below this allowed the rest of the crew to study the bird but I don’t think anyone could work out what it was.
Nevertheless the tide was going out so we thought we had better get off there so we took the anchor astern and winched her off. Very simple and when we anchored went over the side and lo and behold there was not a single mark on her. Moral of the story PAY ATTENTION. Eyes off the birds! It certainly taught me a lesson.