Sadly I have to report that long time race officer and good friend of the Merlin class passed away in the early hours this morning. I know a lot of the more mature members will have their own memories of Frank usually involving a bar and a glass or two of wine. 
Thoughts are with Fin his son.
Will post any further details as soon as I know.

Posted: 05/02/2009 07:43:59
By: Phil Emery
Its a very sad day at the Whitstable Yacht Club . 

Those of us that have been members for many years - in my case since 1959 - will be recalling Frank in his prime as a Race Officer not only at several Merlin Championships and many Siver Tiller events but also presiding over racing for Flying Dutchman; Finns; National 12s ; Hornets; Fireflys and others. Frank was social secretary at the Club for many years and his annual 'Old Years Night' at the Club in the '60s was not to be missed.

Frank had sailed Merlins crewing for Buster Fogg in the 50s and he made the occasional guest appearance in the 60s (with Bob Long) and once with me in 70s!

Frank leaves a son Finnigan and a grandaughter Lucy who was born a few weeks ago. They live near Southhampton.

Once the sadness has passed we will celebrating the life of a man who was so much a part of our lives at Whitstable and very much a part of the Club's success in the 60s 70s and 80s.

Posted: 05/02/2009 08:41:34
By: Richard Davis
Very sorry to hear this news. A great bloke and a great race officer. Please pass on best wishes to his family.

Posted: 05/02/2009 08:43:52
By: Chris Rathbone
A great loss to Whitstable Y.C. and to all of us who knew Frank and enjoyed his company in those early days.

I sailed in the first Merlin Rocket championship at Whitstable in 1956, I was there again in 1959 and we did well in 1963. I think Frank was the PRO each time. Whitstable was not an easy venue for the PRO with it's shallow water, strong tides and the slower boats we sailed then. Frank did the job superbly and with aplomb. There is a well known story that on at least one one occasion he pulled the start boat's anchor up and allowed the line to drift after several false starts on a weather going tide.

Posted: 05/02/2009 09:41:38
By: Robert Harris
Very sad news indeed but a life well lived, I can do no better than paste a link to an bit on this site. He filled the main requirements he was never dull, I last saw him in 2004 when Fred Inhoff and I agreed to meet in Whitstable as a convenient meeting point.

Posted: 05/02/2009 09:43:37
By: Ancient Geek
He set the standard for Race Officers and was a hard man to follow .I have fond memories of him .

Posted: 05/02/2009 09:58:25
By: former whitstable pro
I still have the FD tie that he gave me in 1967 at the Flying Dutchman championships held at Whitstable.
Great guy and really good race officer. I well remember the trial gate starts at the Merlin championships.
A sad day.

Posted: 05/02/2009 13:50:38
By: Barry Dunning
Ah yes Barry, those gate starts. My memory is that they were so fair that half the fleet arrived at the windward mark at the same time all believing they were leading the race. Chaos and as far as I'm aware never attempted again by the Merlin Rockets.

Posted: 06/02/2009 08:36:15
By: Robert Harris
Does anyone have Fin's e.mail as Bob Fisher would like to contact him.

Posted: 06/02/2009 09:02:11
By: Barry Dunning
Both Liz and I have very fond memories of Frank from our Cadet days back in 1959 and through our many years at Whitstable Yacht Club. Our thoughts are with Finn during this sad time. Our memories will last forever.

Posted: 06/02/2009 13:14:14
By: Alan & Liz Perkins, Florida, USA
I have Fin's e-mail address but for some reason I can't e-mail it to you. Give me a ring (01227) 264607.

Posted: 06/02/2009 15:09:19
By: Phil Emery
I remember him as a race officer and a chef as he also frequently cooked the dinner for our laying up super and did a great job. He also drew some great cartoons of events and people at the club. He will be sadly missed our thoughts are with his son Finn.

Posted: 06/02/2009 18:31:22
By: Chris Lewns
What a great race officer he will be missed. I remember a Merlin championship in the early 70s at Whitstable when he was race officer. After 11 general recalls Frank shouting over the water- If you are all over the line again I am going to pull up my hook and go ashore and you can start the bloody race yourselves.

Posted: 07/02/2009 14:10:44
By: Bill Twine
Thanks Phil, Have his e.mail and passed it on to Bob. Frank was a race officer for the Hornet fleet way back in 67.At the nationals, race two, Fisher organised a crew strike for better terms and conditions, free beer etc. which held up the racing for at least an hour. In the meantime the tide went out and we had to have a very quick and shortened race much to Franks frustration. He stamped on his hat a few times and some expletives were used. Happy memories.

Posted: 07/02/2009 15:32:38
By: Barry Dunning
As with everyone who knew Frank he will be greatly missed. Several champs and other events at Whitstable always well run - and of course Frank was a good friend of another long departed MR man, dear on Ned Sparrow who "assisted" Frank on the Committee boat from time to time - many hours the two of them spent on the balcony swapping yarns of old.

Posted: 09/02/2009 13:08:53
By: the gurn
I too was very sad to hear the news. Frank was indeed an inspiration - he had a natural authority without ever upsetting anyone. If Frank said it was too rough - it was too rough. If Frank said you were over the line - you were over the line. Then he would sit at the bar and talk freely to everyone with wit and kindness - lovely bloke.

Posted: 09/02/2009 22:50:50
By: Pat Blake
Frank's funeral has been arranged for Tuesday 10th March at Barham crematorium Nr Canterbury Kent CT4 6QU at 14.40hrs. If anyone would like to send a donation it is to Moorfields Eye Hosp. through John Kemp Funeral Directors 26 Harbour Street Whitstable Kent CT5 1AH

Posted: 22/02/2009 20:29:28
By: Phil Emery


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