Seahorse Sailor of the Month: Syd Fischer
April’s winner is SYD FISCHER (AUS)
‘Keep on going, Syd!’ – Malcolm Salmon; ‘I’ve sailed with Syd for 10 Hobarts at least now and no owner has done more to support offshore sailing in Australia’ – David ‘Rat’ Blanchfield; ‘Syd’s been an inspiration for all of us getting on a bit in years!’ – Jeff Condell; ‘That man has a passion for sailing and will just never give up’ – Darrell Colliver; ‘You know it was a great one when you remember a race 35 years later – as was my last trip with Syd. Hope you win this, even though it will doubtless pi** you off!’ – Spencer Easton.
JEAN-PIERRE DICK (FRA)
It is an unusual record but it’s sadly getting more and more relevant. JP sailed 2,600nm onboard Virbac to finish the Vendée Globe after losing his keel. But the key was that he didn’t charge on regardless – rather he found suitable shelter when bad weather threatened him and simply waited until conditions were more benign, before continuing on. Seamanship can sometimes just mean patience.
ROD JOHNSTONE (USA)
Has any other yacht designer had so much influence across such a remarkable range of keelboat sailing? The J/70 prompted the timing, but this nomination was surely long overdue given how many people were introduced to keelboat racing through the J/24 and cruising – and offshore racing – through its bigger sisters. And many of those old J/24s are even now finding a prolific new life as bargain family daysailers.
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