Past Commodore Ken Searle, has died at the age of 94. He will be sadly missed by many, not only his family but by those who had either sailed with him or knew of his huge contribution to the Club.
He owned a 22ft Mullet, Valeria, which won the first Lipton Cup in the 1920s but we know him as owning his yacht Gumdigger, named after his gumdigging days when he was younger. In 1959 he won a pennant for the J.O.G. Rally with Fidelity. This was at the time that Sir Peter Blake was sailing his Bandit in the JOG class.
Ken’s early days of his naval career have been documented by RAYC Archives as well as the story of a whale sinking the yacht Snow White in 1979 when as a navigator he was just taking her back to NZ after an overseas race. All crew were rescued.
He had previously in 1976, 77 and 78 taken part in the overseas races with Snow White to Vila, Suva and Port Vila.
He said: “During my time as a yachting Club member and administrator I met some dedicated yachtsmen and women and in my old age have many precious memories.”
For further information about Ken’s life please contact Historian Marian Harkness on 09-427-0466, 274-433-513 or email@example.com.