The obituary’ in the Telegraph last month hardly did justice to a man who was a prolific author of technical sailing books, had raced at a high level, been a sailmaker, a boatbuilder, and one of the great nautical publishing editors of our time. As Editor of Adlard Coles in the days when it was owned by Granada 1974-82, he was responsible for publishing in 1979 Marchaj's Aerodynamics of Sailing (easily the most important yachting publication of the 1970’s) Before all that he’d had a distinguished career in the RAF as a night-fighter pilot (his own book Night Intruder was recently reprinted in paperback. described the nerve-wracking life of the Beaufighter and Mosquito pilots flying over northern France in the c1osing years of the war). His sailing books included the great classic Sails - he learnt the whole art and practice from scratch at Ratsey’s , having come out of the RAF, and many others which are now OP. I worked under him for 3 years at Adlard Coles 1979-82, after which he retired to Warsash and promptly wrote the Crossword Companion which I think is now in its 6th edition, and kept him as enthusiastic as ever as well as in funds - it has proved by far the biggest earner of all his books! As a young Assistant Editor, nearly 35 years his junior, I can still picture him boisterously announcing in exaggerated tones - only half in jest - “I am s-u-r-r-o-u-n-d-e-d by incompetence!!” This was usually directed at the Accounts dept who had failed to pay his author’s royalty, or the photocopying girls who had copied an entire manuscript back-to-back when he had requested one side only...And only very’ rarely at me! Warmhearted, energetic, and fiercely loyal to the causes in life that he admired, punctiliously good-mannered … he will be remembered with affection and respect in the many circles into which his life took him.
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