How did you get into sailing and why?
About 60 years ago when as a teenager, I played truant from a boring workplace and ran away with a colleague to have a sail in his Diamond yacht. I often wonder what my life would have been if I hadn't been naughty.
What sort of boat are you sailing at the moment?
A Farr 750 trailable yacht that sails beautifully and has loads of space for all the junk that everyone tells me I carry onboard. It is ideally suited to my obsession of exploring Australia's estuaries and inland waterways.
Racing/cruising highlights to date?
Apart from winning a few state titles, the biggest thrill has to be in 1985 when I won the Channels Race of what was then known as the Petersville Regatta. Seeing the huge fleet behind you when you crossed the finishing line was a real buzz.
Moments you'd prefer to forget?
Watching myself on the Channel 7 news as I and Kalang, my boat at the time, slowly sank during a major regatta. That just beats the time I sank the yacht club's crash boat because I forgot to put the bungs in, and watching my wife sail away from me when I fell out of the tender being towed astern to get a photo of Spindrif under full sail including a spinnaker.
If you could have any boat, what would it be?
A beautiful wooden lap-strake craft with gaff rig and rust-coloured sails that could be towed wherever I wanted behind a four-cylinder car, rowed with ease, plane under a 1hp motor when I wanted to get home quickly, sail through fleets of huge expensive racing keelboats, float in 50mm of water so I could explore really shallow inlets, be big enough to hold an onboard party for 50 people and be fully maintained by someone else.
What do you like most about being on the water?
The feeling of freedom. Even when you are out on the water with other boats around, you are in a wonderful world away from everyone. If there were as many cars around you on the road as there were boats, you would be swearing at the traffic. But on the water it's different.
Is there anything you dislike about sailing?
Scraping marine growths off the hull at the end of a cruise; powerboats and particularly jet skis that like to come across to pass close by even if you and they are the only craft on a wide empty expanse of water under the mistaken belief that you would love to have a close-up view of their boat and enjoy pitching around on their wake.