King of the Frostbite

Long time Club member Bob Gillies passed away on February 15th, aged 86. 

Bob sailed his Frostbite well into his 70's and was "the King of the Frostbite in his day". 

He was also a great supporter of the club - taking an interest in how the young sailors were developing, and taking some under his wing. He enjoyed many of the official and social functions, and loved to have a yarn about his yachting exploits over a beer in the evening with friends. In 2013 Bob's contribution to the club was honoured by the naming of one of the new patrol boats.

Bob's funeral service will be held at the Wakatere BC on Thursday, 19 February, at 2 pm.

The Gillies family have passed on a tribute video to share- Bob Gillies tribute video  

A further word from current Club Coach Rob Hielkema- 

Bob was an awesome coach, he would be winning the Frostbite race then see you were sailing badly, sail over to you to offer some brilliant advice then get back into his race.... and still win. 

He used to say "when sailing upwind always keep the slightest bit of windward helm and steer your boat with consideration to the waves, but make sure you are keeping the boat firmly on the wind!" We based our session around these wise words recently. 

Devonport Flagstaff article 


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