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ISAF Tribute- Donald St Clair Brown

by International Sailing Federation on 17 Dec 2008
Donald St Clair Brown (1914-2008) . .

It is with great sadness ISAF reports that Donald St CLAIR BROWN, one of New Zealand's greatest yachtsmen and an ISAF Gold Medal recipient, has died aged 94.

Donald St CLAIR BROWN (NZL) was one of the father figures of New Zealand yachting. He died peacefully on Saturday morning 94 years of age. A committed sailor throughout his life, he had his last sail on his beloved keelboat Anticipation on the Friday RNZYS Rum race. Amongst many awards received by Don throughout his lifetime, he was presented with an ISAF Gold Medal in 1994, an award presented to individuals who have contributed to the development of the Federation in a remarkable way.

Don ST CLAIR BROWN’s first boat was a two man sailing canoe which he sailed from Rangitoto to Takapuna in the days before it would occur to you to wear a lifejacket. In a 14’ square bilge he sailed around Waiheke, and in a boat just four foot bigger than that, he ventured to the Bay of Islands and Great Barrier Island.

Throughout his life he continued to push his limits, and provided vast inspirational and practical help to numerous Kiwi sailors.

Don owned and sailed four Flying Dutchman boats, two Dragons and a Tornado prior to building ‘Anticipation’ in 1975, a remarkable boat that continues to excel in today’s race fleet.

He managed yachting Olympic teams in 1964 and 1976, and supported teams in 1960 and 1972. He was Chairman of the New Zealand Yachting Federation Olympic Committee for nearly 20 years, and established the Olympic Capital Fund which was later transferred to the New Zealand Yachting Federation Challenge Foundation. He founded the Foundation of Offshore Racing, and with Sir Tom CLARK and John LUSK formed the New Zealand International Yachting Trust.

An accountant by trade, he was honorary treasurer and auditor of the NZYF (now Yachting New Zealand), and over many years was honoured with a Life Membership. Other Awards bestowed on Don included Yachtsman of the Year in 1986, and an MBE for Services to Yachting in November 1987. Don received an IYRU (now ISAF) Gold Medal in 1994 for helping New Zealand sailors to attend Olympic and World Championships. He was also a Trustee and Patron to the Marine Education & Recreation Centre.

Don St CLAIR BROWN was born in 1914. On and off the water Don lived a rich life, which included four years of service during World War II. Don married Mary Grierson in 1940, and they were married for 57 years until her death in 1997. They had three children: Rosemary, John and Charles.

ISAF extends our sincere sympathy and condolences to Don's family and friends.
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