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Tornado Gold Medalist, Reg White dies at 75

by Richard Gladwell on 29 May 2010
2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 10 - Tornado Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Reg White, the father of modern racing multihull sailing has died at the age of 75, while sailing his latest one design with his godson, off Brightingsea, England.

White is probably best known for his involvement with the Rodney March designed radical Tornado catamaran which was selected as an Olympic class. White became the builder of the class, along with son. Rob.

A very accomplished multihull sailor in his own right, White won a Gold medal in the Tornado in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal along with crew John Osbourn. He was also world champion in the class in 1976 and 1979.

His multihull sailing career launched in the 1960's with the Little America's Cup and the ubiquitous White became synonymous with everything to do with successful multihull sailing in England and internationally. He skippered the the highly successful Lady Helmsman C-Class catamaran which was the first wing sailed yacht to win a major sailing trophy.

Following that success he turned his attentions to the multihull trials being conducted by the then International Yacht Racing Union. The Tornado with her slim hulls won the trials in 1967 and was given Olympic class status by the IYRU. The class first sailed in the 1976 Olympics, with Reg White being the first Gold Medalist in the class.

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