34 years on, Geoff still has it
THIRTY-FOUR years is a long time between drinks.
And when it comes to winning national titles, 34 years is an unprecedented drought you would never expect to be broken.
But last week Wollongbar sailor Geoff Horsley reignited his love of the sport when he took out the 2010 Nacra 4.5 division national title at Hervey Bay in Queensland – aged 54 no less.
What’s more, the Richmond River Sailing Club member competed in 11 races in six days without tasting defeat.
“I was surprised and I was very pleased after 34 years to still be able to do it,” Horsley said.
“I guess you could say it is like riding a bike.”
Horsley piloted a 4.5-metre catamaran faster than anyone around Hervey Bay to open the New Year and claim the title.
In 1976, at 20 years of age, he was the national champion of the Hobie 16 division, a longer craft with asymmetrical hulls.
“The young hot-shots these days sail the bigger, faster boats,”he said.
“Right now I have a really nice boat to sail.
“It’s not highly technical and I have had this same one for almost two years.”
Horsley, who had not sailed competitively for more than 10 years leading into the national titles, now has his eye on further races after whetting his appetitie with the tasteof success.
The South-East Queensland Nacra titles are next on the competitive sailing calendar and the veteran has certainly had his interest piqued by his performance.
“I might make my way to that meet, winning the title has re-ignited the sport for me so why not?” he said.
Fellow Richmond River sailor and club vice-commodore Phillip Robbins may also target the South-East Queensland titles after finishing second to Horsley at Hervey Bay.