Sir John Oakley died at the end of last year.
John Oakley or JohnO as we knew him then is my choice for the best ever Merlin Rocket Champion He won in 1956 crewed by Bob Dummett, in 1957 he was crewed by Toy Fox in Tony's famous MK IX Crew Cut and they did it again in 1958. With Tony Fox crewing he was also placed in the first six boats at the next three Championships. He was a big winner in 12ft. Nats.
John was one of a talented group of sailors racing at Hamble River Sailing Club. Dick Vine, Cliff Norbury, Ian Proctor and Alan Hollidge come to mind.
In the1960s John raced a Flying Duchman and won a World Championship and two European Championships. Then in 1972 he represented Britain in the Olympics sailing a Soling. I believe Barry Dunning was one of his crew, they finished fifth. In the 1980s he was much in demand as a helmsman on big yachts.
When John's father died John inherited his baronetsy and became Sir John. I last met him and Lady Maureen at the first 'Oldie' get together at the Royal Lymington Y.C. I sat between my one time Soling helm Robin Judah and Lady Oakley and opposite Sir John and Bob Fisher at what was a fun evening.