Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Eight Bells: Bertie de Speville

by Hong Kong Sailing Federation 8 Apr 2020 03:28 BST
Bertie de Speville © unknown

Bertrand de Speville, 78 years, passed away March 30 after a long and typically courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Carol and children Guy and Clare.

Bertie was a key figure in sailing in Hong Kong in the late 1980s and 1990s. He was president of the HKSF (HKYA) from 1992-1995 and was largely responsible for creating the organizational structure in use today.

He was manager of the Hong Kong Olympic sailing teams which went to Seoul 1988, and again in Atlanta 1996, where HK windsurfer Lee Lai San won Hong Kong’s first and only gold medal in Olymoic history.

Bertie was an active and popular International Judge and Umpire, officiating at many major events, including the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. His quick legal mind was always effective in resolving rules questions, at ISAF (World Sailing) or at local regattas. He retired from Umpiring, and then from Judging some years ago, but returned to Hong Kong to serve as a jury member of the Flying Fifteen Worlds in 2013.

Bertie’s original family home was in Mauritius and he spent time in Africa and the UK before coming to Hong Kong in the Solicitor General’s office, becoming Solicitor General in 1991. In 1993, he was appointed as the head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption which he led until the handover after which he retired to the UK. He continued working in the anti-corruption area, providing advice to countries in Eastern Europe and Africa, in spite of his illness.

He sailed keenly in England, team racing with the ’Castaways’ while at London University. He arrived in Hong Kong with a red wooden Flying Fifteen, which did not survive the climate for long, but soon his new FF ‘Fflocci’ was regularly showing the fleet how to do it!

His common sense, good humour, and friendly personality will be dearly missed.

Related Articles

Flying Fifteen Balearic Championship 2021
Six races held over a long weekend at Puerto Pollença, Mallorca The Spanish National Championship took place earlier this year, in February rather than September. Six races were scheduled, to be sailed over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Posted on 3 Mar
Flying Fifteen Class ready for the Dinghy Show
Take a closer look with a new gallery of fitting-out options As the country navigates its way out of lockdown the Flying Fifteen class stands ready with a full programme of events scheduled for 2021 and beyond, and are able to reveal news of another builder entering the class too. Posted on 26 Feb
New Irish Flying Fifteen Association President
Delayed AGM on the Zoom platform last Wednesday The Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland hosted their delayed AGM on the Zoom platform last Wednesday with a virtual attendance from Dun Laoghaire, Strangford Lough and Dunmore East and, refreshingly, Galway, where there is a significant fleet of boats. Posted on 20 Jan
Flying 15 Regatta at Clayton Bay
A small, friendly club on the banks of the Lower Murray River, South Australia Clayton Bay Boat Club is a small, friendly and welcoming sailing club on the banks of the Lower Murray River, mostly catering to trailer yachts the occasional dinghy and catamarans. Posted on 18 Jan
Goolugatup Sailing Carnival at South of Perth YC
The Flying Fifteens competed in 10 races during the first week To celebrate the 75th year of the South of Perth Yacht Club, the inaugural Goolugatup Sailing Carnival was sailed in the first couple of weeks in January 2021. Posted on 10 Jan
Flying Fifteen Classic & Silver Nationals returns
To be held on 12th & 13th June at Grafham Water SC Yes, the Classic Nationals is back! If you own a Classic or Silver fleet Fifteen and have fallen out of the way of going to open meetings because of all the latest gold fleet boats romping away, then we have some good news for you. Posted on 1 Jan
Flying Fifteen Queensland State Championships
Held at Tin Can Bay Yacht Club This season the Australian National Flying Fifteen Championships have been cancelled due to the pandemic but the Flying Fifteen Class in Australia has organised State Championships that have been well supported. Posted on 2 Dec 2020
Flying Fifteen websites ransom hacked
As if we need any more bad news! Flying Fifteen International (FFI) regret to advise that the Flying Fifteen International and UK Flying Fifteen Class Association websites have been ransom hacked along with numerous other websites in a cyber attack that hit data centres. Posted on 25 Nov 2020
Hong Kong Flying Fifteen Class Championship 2020
A number of challenges, including a typhoon in the South China Sea You can only plan so much and this year's Hong Kong Flying Fifteen Championship, like the rest of 2020, presented a number of challenges. Posted on 16 Nov 2020
Belgian Equinox Trophy for Flying Fifteens
A replacement regatta at the Sports Nautiques de l'Eau d'Heure The second weekend of October is the traditional date of the Belgian Flying Fifteen Class Championship. 2020 was to be a big celebration since it was the twentieth edition of the regatta! Posted on 9 Nov 2020