Experienced Gentlemen's Club

Written by Neville Pearce


At the recent 96 Fireball Worlds in Kingston Ontario Canada it was gratifying to see that Fireballing has a continuing appeal to all ages. There were four participants each over the age of 60.

The inevitable camaraderie of this group gave rise to the formation of an “Experienced Gentlemen’s Club” in he hope that encouragement would ensue many older members keep up their active participation with Fireball sailing. We were all concerned that too many people give up active sailing too early when there is no real reason for giving it up at all. All should stay with the sport for as long as possible.

Overheard at the bar one evening : “The thing I like about sailing is that it’s a sport I can do sitting down.” That goes a long way to summing it up.

The criteria for joining the “E.G. Club” is simple ….

1. Membership is automatic on attaining age 60 - provided that -
2. Such members remain actively sailing in Fireballs.

No need for anything else… that’s it!

Individual fleets could submit names with as much relevant detail as possible to the national magazine who could compile a loosely structured record from time to time.

The four foundation members are:

1. Neville Pearce age 73 Built first fireball in 1966 KZ 1167 “Chinook” Sailed it 1967 to present. Now sails NZL 14233 “Born Free” at Napier Sailing Club.

2. Malcolm Van Haeften age 64 Sailed in Canadian Worlds.

3. Robert W. Haining age 66 Sailed CAN 14490 “Astral Planer” at Worlds. Affectionately known as Uncle Bobby. Has built many beautifully crafted Fireballs for the Calgary fleet. Suggested the name “E.G. Club”

4. Bill Miller age 72 Sailed US 12529 “Peripheral Vision” at the Worlds in Canada.

Nev Pearce NZL 14233 “Born Free”