Please select your home edition
Edition
Mondo Travel - Americas Cup - 4885

Offshore racing yachtsmen Hedley Calvert dies in Hobart

by Peter Campbell on 23 May 2013
Hedley Calvert photo for Hall of Fame Peter Campbell
One of Tasmanian most prominent and successful offshore racing yachtsmen over a sailing career spanning five decades, Hedley Calvert, died in Hobart today in his 80th year, after an extended illness.

Calvert was the eldest of the sons of Chas Calvert, a Huon Valley orchardist and yachtsman, with four generations of the Calvert family becoming successful yachtsmen, nationally and internationally.

Hedley Calvert followed his father as a prominent orchardist but sailing was his passion from boyhood, in Cadets and Rainbows before moving up into the Derwent keelboat class and then as a helmsman of many fine ocean racing yachts. His brothers, the late Barry Calvert and Don Calvert also became champion yachtsmen, with great success in the International Dragon class for both Barry and Don, and at the Admiral’s Cup for Don.

In 1965 Hedley had built the Huon Lass, designed by British naval architect Robert Clark who had designed the famous Caprice of Huon for his father 15 years previously. Huon Lass was a most competitive yacht in her class and with her began Hedley’s annual ritual of competing in Sydney Hobart races, 15 in total.

His second custom-designed boat was Huon Chief which he sailed to victory in the Australian One Ton Cup, also representing Australia in that class in the world championship at Newport, Rhode Island.

Huon Chief stands as an icon of Tasmania’s post-war yachting history in terms of sailability and construction.

Over his extended career as an offshore racing skipper, Hedley Calvert won each of Tasmania’s major ocean races: the Mewstone Race twice with Turua, the Bruny Island Race four times with Huon Lass and once with Huon Chief, and the Maria Island Race twice with Huon Lass.

One of Hedley’s most notable contributions to the sport of yachting was his autobiography ‘Always a Competitor’ which underlined his much-loved reputation as a Tasmanian yachtsman, orchardist and raconteur.

With such a heritage behind them, as a family, it was an exciting move to see Hedley embark on this project to record his own sailing experiences, in particular, for posterity, but also recording the history of a remarkable family of orchardists and yachtsman.

The book not only traced the history of the Calvert family from 1830 onwards as orchardists and yachtsmen, and Hedley’s own sailing career, but was full of invaluable hints to fellow competitors as an extensive of his regular column ‘Clewed Up’ in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmanian magazine.

In 1974, he was awarded the Tasmanian Star of Sport and in 2010 he was inducted into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame for his contribution to yachting.

Following his racing career, Hedley cruised extensively including a voyage to New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Hedley and Judy also lived in Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for several years where Hedley was an active member of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club.

Hedley was a 53 year member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and also a member of the Huon Yacht Club.

Hedley Calvert is survived by his wife Judy and daughters Susan and Louise and by his brother Don. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

Henri Lloyd 50 YearsDoyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackSail Exchange 660x82 New Sails

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Alex Thomson beats 24 hour world distance record
British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe British sailor Alex Thomson has beaten the world sailing record for the second time in the Vendee Globe, travelling 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours. The previous distance record of 534.48 nautical miles was set by Francois Gabart in the 2012 Vendee Globe, Thomson has sailed an additional 2.33 nautical miles.
Posted today at 11:52 am
EFG Sailing Arabia – Team Averda focus on food in bid to nail victory
Herrera has come up with a secret weapon that he believes might prove the difference between winning and coming second. Herrera has put together a formidable team of amateur sailors who are talented enough to earn crew spots on some of the fastest boats on the planet.
Posted today at 11:48 am
Vendee Globe – Thomson smashes 24-hour distance record
Thomson was among a fleet of 29 mostly French solo sailors that set off from Les Sables d'Olonne. During the 24-hour period running up to the 0800 UTC position report he sailed his racing boat Hugo Boss at an average speed of 22.4 knots, or 25.7mph.
Posted today at 11:29 am
Vendee Globe - Amedeo leads quartet round Cape Horn
French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. French skipper Fabrice Amedeo achieved one of his life goals early this morning by passing Cape Horn for the first time. The 38-year-old Parisian journalist-turned-solo sailor rounded Cape Horn on the southernmost tip of South America on his IMOCA 60 Newrest Matmut at 0140 UTC to become the 11th Vendée Globe skipper in the Atlantic.
Posted today at 6:36 am
Clipper Race - Excitement builds at Crew Brief Day
There was plenty of excitement as hundreds of Clipper 2017-18 Race crew members came together for the first time There was plenty of excitement as hundreds of Clipper 2017-18 Race crew members came together for the first time at the Crew Briefing.
Posted today at 5:57 am
Vendee Globe - Not the end for Enda
Enda O'Coineen vowed to complete Vendée Globe by his yacht Team Ireland - Kilcullen Voyager back to Les Sables d'Olonne Irish skipper Enda O'Coineen has vowed to 'complete' the Vendée Globe by sailing his yacht Team Ireland - Kilcullen Voyager back to Les Sables d'Olonne.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Lounge Music
What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? What a groovy time that all was. Very sophisticated, and was the world so much simpler back then or what? It even managed it’s own parody with Jerry Lewis and the über-cool Purple Pit in the original Nutty Professor. I’ll just have an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater right now, thank you… Some will get their noses all twisted up about now saying it is all elevator music, but it was so well orchestrated
Posted on 15 Jan
Throttles open in sprint to Vendée Globe finish
The race to the finish line became an all-out, neck-and-neck sprint as the leading pair's speedos rocketed into the 20s. The race to the finish line today became an all-out, neck-and-neck sprint as the leading pair's speedos rocketed into the 20s. After several days of slow progress north in light winds, Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson were today blasting towards the home straight of the solo round the world race in winds of up to 30 knots.
Posted on 15 Jan
Smeg wins first heat of 18 Footers Australian Championship
Not too long after the start, Asko, Marcus Ashley-Jones, took the lead and held on to it for the first two laps. It was third time lucky as the U flag enticed the 18 boat fleet to stay behind the line. Smeg won the pin end and tacked over to cross the fleet.
Posted on 15 Jan
Vendee Globe - Thomson holds edge in a testing final week
The two lead boats in the Vendee Globe have a difficult few days ahead as they line up for the finish The two lead boats in the Vendee Globe have a difficult few days ahead as they line up for the finish in Les Sables-d'Olonne, on the west coast of France. Over the past two days, the race leader Armel Le Cleac'h has maintained a lead of 100nm over second placed Alex Thomson, who led the fleet at the first major turning point
Posted on 15 Jan