Mates mourn Trevor Gowland


TREVOR GOWLAND, the esteemed boat-builder and Sydney to Hobart-winning yachtsman, died at his home at Point Clare on NSW Central Coast at the age of 75 after a brief illness. His funeral was well-attended, the numbers swelled by an impressive turnout of sailing friends and workmates.

Gowland worked for much of his life with the Halvorsen family of yacht designers and boat-builders. He was responsible, as a skilled shipwright, for building such famous yachts as the 1962 America's Cup challenger Gretel, Sydney-Hobart overall winners Freya, Anitra V and Cherana, Admiral's Cup team boats Gingko and Apollo II and the maxi yacht Ballyhoo which look line honours in the 1979 Hobart Race, as well many prestigious motor cruisers.

Gowland was and accomplished yachtsman and served as a sail trimmer aboard Gretel during Australia's first challenge for the America's Cup in 1962. He was also in the crew of the Halvorsen brothers' Freya in its unbeaten record of three successive overall wins in the Sydney to Hobart race, as well as Anitra V when it also won the ocean classic. He raced on Ballyhoo and on Ted Turner's American Eagle when it took line honours in the 1972 Hobart Race.

Trevor's last Hobart was the 50th Race when sailed with John Keelty aboard Cherana, the Tasman Seabird classer that he also built.

“Trevor was one of Australia's leading boat-builders, noted for his interpretation of the designer's plans into hull construction,” Keelty, a longtime friend, told Australian Yachting.

In later years, Gowland managed the large Halvorsen complex Bobbin Head until the business was sold. He retired to the Central Coast where he was an active sailing member of the Gosford Sailing Club, including competing in the club's Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race on several occasions.

In 2006 the Gosford club invited Trevor to be the official starter for that year's race, an honour he discharged with evident pleasure and pride. – Peter Campbell

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