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CoastWaterSports 2014

Bob Fisher's last wave

by Jon Williams 10 Sep 09:15 BST

In a year that has been anything but normal, something very special took place at the Hornet European Championship, which was recently hosted by Brightlingsea Sailing Club.

The Hornets had been scheduled to hold their 2021 Championship in Cornwall, but the continuing Covid restrictions saw this plan sent back to the beach, meaning we had to look for another venue. Thankfully, Brightlingsea Sailing Club were able to kindly step in at short notice, adding the Class to an already planned long weekend of racing.

Brightlingsea was of course Bob Fisher's home club, where he learnt many skills, both afloat and ashore and as we all know, he would go on to have a successful career in the Hornet that included many championship wins. His stamp on the Class is still felt today in some of the antics ashore and it is just as well many of the venues we go to today do not remember the Hornets from back in those days!

Bob was instigator and President of the Crew's Union and one of the few printable incidents that are open to us followed immediately after the founding union meeting at an open meeting at Whitstable Yacht Club. He organised the crews (that's like herding cats in my view) to leave their helms holding the boats in the chilly water whilst all the crews took the trolleys back up the beach. They then promptly went to the bar for a beer! Many of his other antics are still talked about today, for Bob represented everything that was special, but in particular FUN that could be found when Hornet sailing.

On the Sunday, in the time before the first race of the day, in a low key ceremony, Bob's daughters, Alice and Carolyne, took a moment to scatter some of Bob's ashes from the Committee Boat. It was a wonderfully telling and appropriate gesture, that he was remembered in this way on his home waters, as part of a Class that was a significant part of his life, with him amongst those he would have called friends.

RIP Bob, Hornet lover, sailor, author, journalist and so many other things from a life lived to the max.

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