Master Sailor and mentor of many, Jack Carroll, turned 90 recently.
Mr Carroll, who lives in Maiden Gully, celebrated surrounded by many friends and family at the Bendigo Yacht Club.
Mr Carroll’s years of sailing were remembered with anecdotes and the inevitable yarns about him and his beloved Sailfish dinghy.
Two of his brothers and family gave some insights to his younger years, and those who he had helped and supported outside the sailing world recalled his well-known unselfish and giving ways.
Mr Carroll looked a proper 90-year-old, dapper in “shore wear” as against his usual sailing gear and appeared to be a bit embarrassed at all that was being said about him and taking over the yacht club.
Many congratulatory emails and cards were read out and presented to him, along with messages from Maree Edwards, Dan Andrews and Scott Morrison.
The speeches were rounded off with a message from Glenn Ashby, who Mr Carroll taught to sail at Bendigo, about how he was still feeling his influence as he began to teach his own daughters how to sail.
In 1956, Mr Carroll and his mate, the late Bruce Scott, designed and built the first Australian Sailfish and being a very light and unsinkable craft it became very popular throughout Victoria and New South Wales.
In recent years this little boat has seen a resurgence and enthusiasts have sourced old Sailfish from garages, back sheds, under houses and roof cavities and have restored them to their former glory.
Mr Carroll’s old plans have come out, and new boats are being built.
Mr Carroll’s original boat Debonair is one of the boats that has been restored and looking fantastic.
Recently at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, Jack once again took to the water on Debonair and proved that he has lost very little of his past skills.
Mr Carroll was one of the original cadet coaches at Bendigo Yacht Club in the 1980s teaching the intricate details of small boat sailing.
Today he is doing much the same thing and each Saturday morning during sailing season Mr Carroll can be found at the club giving advice to budding young sailors.
A quiet word from the little man is always appreciated by not only the youngsters, but the older sailors as well.