Hall Of Fame:
Roger Blasse - Australia
Roger Blasse was inducted for his lifelong commitment to the OK class in Victoria and Australia and for his outstanding success at all levels of competition.
Greg Wilcox (NZL) introduced Roger Blasse (AUS). “When we came up with the Hall of Fame in 2007 the OKDIA Committee had a shortlist of people we thought would be in there straightaway and obviously Jørgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) was the first one and deservedly so and there were a few others we thought would be in he pretty quickly, so this has taken a while.”
Roger Blasse was inducted for his lifelong commitment to the OK class in Victoria and Australia and for his outstanding success at all levels of competition. Roger started sailing the OK Dinghy in 1986 and still competes regularly at the highest level. He won his first Australian National title in 1988 and went on to win 10 more which included a remarkable run of five in a row from 2004 to 2008. A regular competitor at World Championships, Roger won the title in 1998 and then again in 2013. He has been actively involved in the class for close to 30 years and acted for many years as Class Measurer.
Wilcox continued, “Roger has given me some pretty good lessons on how to sail when it's windy and especially downwind and I think he'll continue to do that but one of the great things about Roger is that he shares his ideas, is happy to talk to other sailors and is just a great all round guy.”
“His success is the icing on the cake. If you ask Roger then I think he would say the real reason he is still doing it is not to win things but because of all the friends here.”
On receiving his award, Roger Blasse said, “I think Greg has hit the nail on the head. It's always good to reach the top of the fleet but I do it because I really like the class and enjoy sailing the boat so much. It's one of those things that's just in your body. Yesterday, it was a classic Black Rock day, breeze at 18-20 knots and cruising around catching the waves was just the best day. I enjoyed myself immensely.”
“Last year's win [at the worlds] was an immense surprise to me. It shocked me how much fun I had in Thailand. But I just love my sailing if you can compete in the world fleet against the guys around you and you set a goal that you want to finish a few places higher than last year. That's the great thing about the class; you can do that and it's a great feeling when you are up against all the other legends in the class, because you know they are very good sailors.
“So thank you very much. This is just an amazing accolade.”