Recommended Posts

Sailing and the America’s Cup has lost Bob Fisher, a true gentleman of the sport. A keen sailor and a distinguished member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Bob was an encyclopedia of sailing knowledge and history: his writings and his books will last for generations to come. The entire America’s Cup community’s thoughts are with Dee and the family. Rest in Peace Bob.
 
 

142749392_2912617885683330_6482156823722790824_o.jpg

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Met him twice, once in San Diego and once in Valencia. What a great spirit!

 RIP 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RIP Fish, a great friend and just the best fun to sail with, thoughts are with Dee and the family.  We'll miss him, and the world is  poorer place:(

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, minimumfuss said:

Enjoyed his book and comments in previous cups. RIP

I (like Rennie too) have his An Absorbing Interest book, it’s a brilliant treasure. 
 

Mildly funny anecdote.. 

There was an event held in San Diego at about the same time DZ sailed for the first time with its wing sail and I flew down there for it. RC had been knighted Sir Russ just a few days prior, LE was coming in for the event too. As a ‘joke’ the team had an enormous, long red carpet laid out down into the event for RC to make his entrance along. Some team members dressed up as royalty, queen-drag and all, waiting to Knight him. Around 100 of us were alongside the red carpet, outside the gold ropes that ran alongside while waiting to be let in. 
 

Bob Fisher arrived, undid the entrance rope, and marched with a big smile right down the middle of the red carpet, as if it was for him! :D

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Stingray~ said:

Met him twice, once in San Diego and once in Valencia. What a great spirit!

 RIP 

Actually chatted with him in Cascais, first ACWS ever (2010 or so). Had the pleasure of telling him his Catamaran Racing had motivated my multihull activities

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always good humored and a tireless worker into late age.

The yachting world, and Lymington in particular, lost a real character.

Raising a last glass of good red wine, bottoms up Bob!

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sailed with him many many years ago, a gem of a guy RIP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked his writing, which writers always like to hear. He was a really good fellow. RIP

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Barnyb said:
Sailing and the America’s Cup has lost Bob Fisher, a true gentleman of the sport. A keen sailor and a distinguished member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Bob was an encyclopedia of sailing knowledge and history: his writings and his books will last for generations to come. The entire America’s Cup community’s thoughts are with Dee and the family. Rest in Peace Bob.
 
 

142749392_2912617885683330_6482156823722790824_o.jpg

That's a great picture, I believe taken in the library at the NYYC.

Fish had a wicked sense of humor and a keen eye for detail. Nobody had more experience covering the America's Cup. He could see through BS like it was glass. And there has always been plenty of it to see through in the America's Cup.

I've enjoyed many a pleasant hour in his company over the last 30 years.

He was not just a stay-at-home journalist, having been aboard for some record-breaking offshore passages.

He understood what he wrote about.

In the pre-Google days, if you  had a question about AC history, he could probably answer it.

Godspeed, Bob Fisher.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always enjoyed his writing when I was a Seahorse subscriber. RIP Bob.

I actually quoted him not that long ago, and was disparaged by one of the younger Poms on this forum. I wonder where that arrogant arsehole is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rest in peace Bob.

always a pleasure to spend time with. First sailed with him back in the Barracuda it Tarrant days, and spent a good number of hours in airports and taxis finding the hours disappearing as chatting about the sport he loved most.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A dear friend for 45 years.  I'll miss him. 

Too many shared experiences, including nearly sinking the Country Cottage (Barracuda) on the Needles wreck rounding a bit too close in a Round The Island Race and knocking a rudder through the hull, and then inviting him to Scotland to forget the whole thing and race the maxi DRUM.  That produced the famous submarine collision incident. 

Several years later, one of his crew who had served on the sub (HMS Otus) saw her in the scrapyard at Portsmouth, and was allowed aboard.  He asked for a memory and was given a securing pin from a periscope.  This was mounted on a plaque and presented to Bob.  It had pride of place on his bookcase.  

A favorite photo.  Fish and "Bob's Bolt."

image.jpeg.595851d3de904c49944810ec60b85c24.jpeg

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Stingray~ said:

I (like Rennie too) have his An Absorbing Interest book, it’s a brilliant treasure. 
 

Mildly funny anecdote.. 

There was an event held in San Diego at about the same time DZ sailed for the first time with its wing sail and I flew down there for it. RC had been knighted Sir Russ just a few days prior, LE was coming in for the event too. As a ‘joke’ the team had an enormous, long red carpet laid out down into the event for RC to make his entrance along. Some team members dressed up as royalty, queen-drag and all, waiting to Knight him. Around 100 of us were alongside the red carpet, outside the gold ropes that ran alongside while waiting to be let in. 
 

Bob Fisher arrived, undid the entrance rope, and marched with a big smile right down the middle of the red carpet, as if it was for him! :D

That's pure gold!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sailing has lost one of its giants and I have lost one of my best friends.

When my wife called me this morning and told me the grave news I was physically upset and when I read what has been said above I had to paused before responding because I teared up again at the loss of a wonderful man and my thoughts go out to his widow Dee and to his children

When I started writing I approached Bob Fisher for advice and sent him an early effort. That led to a firm friendship over the years.

When we were in the UK many years ago to visit the Southampton Boat Show I mailed him and suggested coffee to be  met with ‘I don’t do coffees how about lunch – and come to the house’

Bob picked us up in Lymington and we spent a wonderful afternoon in the company of Bob & Dee and we met many more times when we happened to be in the same place at the same time, Auckland, Cowes, VOR, SailGP, you name it. He always had a little twinkle in his eyes like a naughty boy hidden inside a perfect gentleman for he surely was that. My wife used to call him ‘Uncle Bob’ and one could see he was always a little delighted by that.

He was no keyboard commander either with multiple world titles to his name along with a Little America’s Cup victory, an RORC Yacht of the Year title with Barracuda of Tarrant (a long time dream boat of mine). He used to call it his ‘Country Cottage’ and I clearly remember in one ‘Fish Eye’ article him saying they ‘had a lot of washing up at the Country Cottage’ while doing 22 knots across Christchurch Bay one weekend – clever writing as always. He was even Reg White’s crew on the Tornado when they destroyed the competition to win the berth for Olympic Catamaran. In fact the primary reason for me waiting (each fortnight originally) eagerly for Yachts & Yachting to come out was to see what Bob had written in his column.

I will be ever grateful for his advice when I started writing “tell it how you see it”; always get a second verification (if you can) and so on. He was my proposer when I joined ‘Yachting Journalist Association’ an organisation he served as Chairman for a number of years and a huge influence on me.

But it was the America’s Cup where Bob stood head and shoulders above any other writer where he was rightly known as “Mr America’s Cup”, an event where his passion was initially kindled by listening to old salts at the top of the Brightlingsea Hard as they regaled the stories of their times with Lipton or Sopwith. Him reference work on the history of the event “An Absorbing Interest” is truly a must read for any genuine fan of the Old Mug. He told me once his wife typed 2 million words of research notes for the work. Perhaps now the Koch Estate will release the material for the long awaited Volume 3.

There is one important element missing from Bob’s extensive C.V. and that is the long overdue (in my humble opinion) membership of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. This year the ‘voice’ of the America’s Cup, Peter Montgomery was inducted (and I am taking away nothing from PJ on this – he deserves to be there also ) so why do we not have the whole “Mister” in there too.

Attached is a pic of Bob enjoying one of his other pleasures. An ice cream sundae was always the ticket to round off a dinner together and also the cover of his greatest work.

Sail on Bob, the world – and certainly my world – is now a much poorer place to be.

Goodbye my hero, my mentor, my friend.

IMG_2574.JPG

IMG_3988.JPG

  • Like 18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spoke to him once, it must have been in VLC, about knee problems. What a weird topic, but a welcome break from the AC33 madness. 

He will be missed by the AC world, may his friends and family take time to mourn and find the strength to cope. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very lucky to have sailed a cowes week with him on his Mumm 36! What a genuinely funny guy.

I remember him saying how he had never gotten the boat sailing so fast up wind before and that my trimming was great, But I knew that wasn't true.

So I went down below to check the speedo to find it off centre, I put it back straight and came back on deck and owned up, he told me I should have said nothing :-).Sure he would have given out when we tacked :-)

Funny though, even when he called bullshit on you he still made you feel great at the same time, Amazing guy.

Sadly missed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

F :(

Never met him or even saw him, definitely enjoyed a bunch of his articles.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember following him round the Needles in the Round the island race and us joking that at least he should know where the wreck was....

great man, sadly missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see from the YJA piece (linked from the front page) that 'An Absorbing Interest' Volume 3 is out this autumn. A little sad that Bob didn't see that happen as there was always a glint in his eye when he talked about the 'stuff' that he had in there and he was frustrated at the delays he could do nothing about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Here is the official obit for Fish

RIP Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85.

Three days before, Sir Ben Ainslie had called him from Auckland New Zealand where he and his INEOS America’s Cup team had just won the most exciting race in the 170-year history for the ‘Auld Mug’ to dedicate their victory to this fabled Cup historian.

Bob Fisher was born and bred in the coastal town of Brightlingsea, Essex UK and made sailing his life.  Engaged by stories from the professional Brightlingsea fishermen who crewed the big yachts of their day, including Sir Thomas Sopwith’s two British J Class America’s Cup challengers Endeavour and Endeavour II in 1934 and ’37, he first made a name as a top crew, winning 7 national and world titles in the National Hornet and Fireball high performance dinghy classes. He also won the International Yacht Racing Union trials to select a 2-man trapeze catamaran trials with his Brightlingsea friend Reg White which led to the Tornado being chosen as the first Olympic multihull class.

White was Britain’s top multihull sailor, and it was on his recommendation that Bob went on to claim international fame, winning the 1967 Little America’s Cup in C-Class catamarans, racing the British defender Lady Helmsman with Peter Schneidau against the Australian challenger Quest III, winning the series in dominant style 4:1. Fisher’s prize was an all- expenses paid trip to Newport Rhode Island to watch the American 12m yacht Intrepid beat the Australian challenger Dame Pattie in the real America’s Cup. It led to a life-long obsession with Bob covering all the matches since then, bar the current racing off Auckland.

The author of 30 books on all aspects of the sport, they including eight covering The Whitbread/Volvo round the world race and 1986 Book of the Sea award winning tome - Greatest Race: Official Story of the Whitbread Round the World Race, 1985-86 –  and seven on the America’s Cup.

In 1992, Bob set about to write the definite history of the America’s Cup, supported by that year’s Cup winner, American philanthropist Bill Koch.  The 2-volume An Absorbing Interest took 15 years to research and write and has become the go-to opus to answer any question about the Cup. His latest work An Absorbing Interest Vol III covering the past two decades of Cup Races is due to be published in the Autumn.

Bob’s greatest hope had been to see Britain finally win back the famous ewer first competed for in 1851 in a race around the Isle of Wight. That has not happened in his lifetime, but he did follow the INEOS team come-back from oblivion in preliminary races in Auckland before Christmas to win a place in the finals of the Prada Cup challenge trials 5:0, and was cheered even more by Sir Ben’s last race dedication to our Mr America’s Cup  The final chapter  of Bob’s last book may yet record his greatest wish fulfilled.

Bob Fisher is survived by his wife Dee, two children Alice and Carolyne, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Donations in Bob Fisher’s memory are welcomed to be sent to the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation with a very brief reason why. ishttp://www.sirthomasliptonfoundation.org/

Messages and condolences are welcome on Bob Fisher’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bob.fisher.167527

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, KiwiJoker said:

Here is the official obit for Fish

RIP Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85.

I should add this piece was authored for the family by Barry Pickthall, photographer and photo agency owner, who was Bob's friend and collaborator on so many books over the years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2021 at 12:49 AM, Rennmaus said:

Spoke to him once, it must have been in VLC, about knee problems. What a weird topic, but a welcome break from the AC33 madness. 

He will be missed by the AC world, may his friends and family take time to mourn and find the strength to cope. 

I have nothing on some of the awesome memories and tributes posted above, but here’s another SAAC kinda memory, much like what Rennie posted. 
 

Rennie and I came off the water after Race 1 of the DoG Match and were in a hotel on the Malvarossa Beach sharing snacks and drinks with Mo and Mozzette from Anacortes. There were a bunch of AC’ers in there, including Simmer and Kramers who stopped in briefly for a quick one, looking surprisingly relaxed and amiable despite the loss. 

I excused myself to go find the restroom, headed down the hallway and into the hotel lobby, and the only person seated in the furniture was looking straight at me as I entered, as if he was expecting someone. We locked eyes I recognized him as Bob, so I nodded briefly and smiled. 
 

Bob almost jumped out of his chair, came right at me and the conversation went like this: 

Bob: (very big smile and vigorous handshake) “It’s so great to meet you!” 
 

Me: (very-very surprised but willing to go along with it) “You too, Bob! Love your book, would you autograph it for me?” 

Bob: “But of course, I’d be honored to! So.. Are we ready to go to the appointment?”

Me: (even more uncertain now) “An appointment? I’m just sharing drinks with friends in the beach bar.. You may be confusing me with someone else?”

Bob: “Oh my goodness! Well then who are you??”

Me: “Oh just an AC fan here from Seattle, hanging out with friends. You may have seen posts by a ‘Stingray’ on the Anarchy Forums?”

Bob: (Bursts out laughing) “You are Stingray?? That’s Hilarious!!!” 
 

I laughed big along with him, tapped him gently on the shoulder  and made my way to the restroom. 
 

:D He was definitely full of life 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, thetruth said:

I am amazed that only 34 people on the site that has so many sailing experts had never met Bob. Ir only goes to show how many wannabe wankers there are on this site. If you didn't know Fish then you either didn't sail competitively between 1980 and 2015 or are full of shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeelll, I emailed him a a few times. Am I a wannabe wanker or not then? FFS I've heard better from Trumptard himself. RIP again sorry Bob on behalf of all the good bastards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fisher was always Fisher. 

Because of our common heritage in the C Class I thought he gave me a bit of extra consideration. But I now think this is how everyone felt.  His best friend was whoever he was talking to at that moment.

He had a “puckish charm” that made you look past some of the truly appalling things that sometimes came out of his mouth.

SHC

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2021 at 7:37 PM, thetruth said:

I am amazed that only 34 people on the site that has so many sailing experts had never met Bob. Ir only goes to show how many wannabe wankers there are on this site. If you didn't know Fish then you either didn't sail competitively between 1980 and 2015 or are full of shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You don't need to have met him to be a fan but I get your point. I personally learned so much from him, even when i was just a reader and before i had the pleasure (and privilege) of counting him as a friend and mentor

One of my favourite memories (from before i knew him) was he was technical adviser for Howard's Way a BBC soap about the boating world. In one section the daughter of the prime character lost her memory and to try and jog it he steered the Laser 28, Flying Fish towards a shingle bank. I subsequently learned Bob was down below eyes glued to the sounder. The daughter jumped up, grabbed the helm and tacked the boat away. As it goes through the tack you can just hear the keel running through the shingle - talk about knowing your boat and taking it close. Not something you could risk over any other bottom. Class!

It took me years before the penny dropped, the association between Bob and the boat name.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RIP Bob I didn't know a lot about him until reading this thread. Great to hear Ben called him too. Very well respected sailor by all reports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it hadn't been for Bob I'd never have met Ferret, and might still have my wisdom teeth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/4/2021 at 1:16 PM, Stingray~ said:

One of several recent obits:

Obituary: Bob Fisher – renowned yachting journalist and world champion sailor covered 16 editions of the America’s Cup

https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/bob-fisher-obituary


A star-studded crowd including BA will be joining in for an obit to Fisher tomorrow on TFE’s SI Live show. 

S'Ray that was such a good TFE call.  Thanks for your contributions.  And yes, I was skippering Drum.... 

I miss the auld bugger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, P_Wop said:

S'Ray that was such a good TFE call.  Thanks for your contributions.  And yes, I was skippering Drum.... 

I miss the auld bugger.

Nice! 
 

Yes, that celebration of life for Bob was just superb. Amazing crowd, hats off.

This link may work

https://www.facebook.com/SailingIllustratedBlog/videos/460364791800494/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was long, but I listened to the whole 3 hours of Tom's show dedicated to Bob. Some great anecdotes, and good to see the huge turnout of sailing scribes to honour Bob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@enigmatically2

I know how you love digging out old posts, so I thought I'd dig out one of yours. I guess it belongs in here - surprised you didn't do it yourself? Is that because you've achieved so much more in sailing than Bob ever did?

Enig_Bob.thumb.jpg.c7f8629f6af6df786b5cf71f2752e644.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Horn Rock said:

@enigmatically2

I know how you love digging out old posts, so I thought I'd dig out one of yours. I guess it belongs in here - surprised you didn't do it yourself? Is that because you've achieved so much more in sailing than Bob ever did?

Enig_Bob.thumb.jpg.c7f8629f6af6df786b5cf71f2752e644.jpg

Bingo!  I don't recall seeing a lot of trophies during visits to Phoenix Cottage but Fish collected an impressive bunch of titles in a long sailing lifetime.  Not mentioned on TFE's three-hour tribute was when Fish was 60 or thereabouts, stepped into a J-24 and ended up in the top 10 in the Worlds. He knew how to make a boat go ..... as well as the location of top watering holes around the world.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. Yes, I think I did achieve more success than Bob (although comparing different forms is extremely different of course) but that is irrelevant.

When I wrote what I did I didn't know he was ill, and i meant no offence. I wrote what I wrote in a certain context, and in the circumstances it would be inappropriate to discuss that further. So I will settle for saying that he was a great sailing writer and will be missed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now