Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Bob Fisher 1935-2021

26th January 2021
Bob Fisher – information, explanation, entertainment, achievement and a spot of mischief were never far away Bob Fisher – information, explanation, entertainment, achievement and a spot of mischief were never far away Credit: Guy Gurney

The death in England of the great sailor and sailing writer Bob Fisher at the age of 85 has taken from among us one of the most vibrantly life-enhancing practitioners, innovators, expounders and promoters of our sport.

He had achieved so much in more than 65 years at the sharp end of top-level sailing that a time like this would normally see sadness being offset by a sense of celebration in all that he achieved.

But as his great passion was the America’s Cup – on which he was the unrivalled authority – a considerable poignancy is added through knowing that he has departed just as the first-ever British win in the 170 years of sport’s oldest international contest was becoming a real possibility.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and knowing that Bob made many well-remembered visits to Ireland, we know that readers will have vivid memories of this remarkable man which they may wish to share with us.

W.M. Nixon wrote this piece here in 2013 when Bob had been the star performer at a celebration in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

From Tom Jobling:

My first encounter with Bob Fisher was way back in the early 70's at Whitstable YC in Kent. It was the occasion of a British GP14 Championship. I had found myself on board the 'press boat' with Frank Chapman (Daily Telegraph) and himself. It was later - I think it was in Yachts & Yachting - that he described the 140 strong fleet as "Dad's Armada”….. Via the GP Magazine “MainSail”, I pulled Bob on this, then to my absolute astonishment, he made comment and mentioned me in his rolling column.

More recently he promoted my debut novel 'Chasing Shadows' both in his international column and among the fraternity. He then wrote a back page review of number two novel 'Arthur's Dead'. We were speaking not that long ago when he requested a copy of my third book...

A wicked sense of humour, an excellent speaker and a great supporter of folk making their way in and around this 'industry' we call sailing. It would have been fascinating to follow his analyses and opinions on the latest episode in the America’s Cup saga in New Zealand, but sadly it is not to be.

Published in News Update
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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