Rooklyn passes Asia Pacific Melges 24 Rep baton to Nixon

AUS Melges 24 - Bandit - Warwick Rooklyn

November 23, 2015 - Australia - New boat owner Warwick Rooklyn seemed keen to compete and talked the talk. His Australian built boat Bandit was fully spec‘d up with the best of everything. Warwick was well known in Australian Sailing on many levels. On the racecourse Rooklyn presented a professional campaign, the crew looked slick and sailed fast, team Bandit was intimidating on and off the water.

Rooklyn is highly competitive whether in a race car or sports boat, he is not there to merely participate. So, at the 2011 National class AGM Heath Walters targeted the fresh owner as the new Australian President. Warwick agreed to just fill in for a few months until a new President was found due to a lack of time. Warwick had been closely watching the development of the class in Australia and had decided it was a good time to purchase a boat. He is passionate about the design and one design racing the Melges 24 offers. This gentle nudge from Heath was all that was needed and Warwick took the reins of the Australian Class for the next four years.

Warwick showed a passionate interest and intent to play a role in the development of the Australian and Asia Pacific fleet within the international Melges 24 context. He was an active owner travelling to regattas all over Australia and the world.

Warwick’s list of achievements on Bandit have included but are not limited to competing at three Melges 24 World Championships, the 2011, 2012 Australian Melges 24 Champion title, four times winner of the M24 Sydney Harbour Regatta. The pinnacle of his Melges 24 racing career to date was winning the 2012 Melges 24 North American Championships.

Warwick Rooklyn

Warwick Rooklyn

In 2013 with the support of Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the Australian Association and Melges Asia Pacific Rooklyn flew to the International Melges 24 AGM where he became the first Asia Pacific Representative on the International Melges 24 Class Associations Committee. During the meeting he passionately made his presentation to the committee reaffirming the Worlds proposal submitted by the Victorian Government and Royal Geelong Yacht Club. At the same time in Australia it was the weekend of the NSW State Titles at Lake Macquarie the local class representatives, skyped into the meeting to hear the announcement that Geelong had finally been awarded the 2014 Melges 24 World Championship, the first in the Southern Hemisphere.

One year in the making and the 2014 Australian Melges 24 Worlds was a resounding success. For a developing association the fleet was strong, led by Rooklyn. Royal Geelong Yacht Club were cordial, professional and extremely accommodating of all requirements in their outstanding event organisation. RGYC hosted the Nationals as the pre worlds during the Festival of Sails followed by the Worlds. Teams travelled from Switzerland, Italy, Canada, USA and Japan. The racing conditions on Corio Bay were perfect for the Melges 24 and the Après racing schedule was just as full with coaching sessions from Harry Melges and Pro’s, hands on Australia’s native animal display, cocktail parties, BBQ’s, Australia Day Celebrations, backyard cricket and lamb roast. The regatta providing more than great racing but an Australian experience.

At this point Warwick Rooklyn took stock of his hard work and achievements and handed over the role of Australian President to the capable hands of Dave Young from Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, whilst remaining on the IM24CA Executive Committee.

On Saturday the 21 of November at the 2015 Melges 24 Annual General Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark Warwick will stand down from his position and has nominated his entrusted good friend, on water rival and highly regarded Australian sailor Kevin Nixon for the role.

Although not the figurehead of the class Kevin has been a constant support to Warwick to date. Warwick called Kevin his ‘go to man’ when they organised the Worlds. Kevin and his family hold the title of 2014 North American Corinthian Champions, he has a vast amount of experience and respect in Australian sailing. Kevin is passionate about One Design racing and has detailed knowledge of class rules, regatta regulations and the constitution.

The International Melges 24 Association of Australia members along with Melges Asia Pacific would like to officially thank Warwick Rooklyn for all the time and effort dedicated to the Melges 24 class. Warwick’s no nonsense, make it happen attitude and contribution to the organisation of the first Melges 24 Worlds in the Southern Hemisphere has been greatly appreciated.

By Tracey Walters

 

The International Melges 24 Class Association would like to thank Warwick for his remarkable commitment and passion in keeping Melges 24 spirit high up in Australia! His efforts in getting the first Melges 24 Southern Hemisphere Worlds to Geelong Australia was admirable and highly aprecciated! IM24CA is greatful for all what Warwick has done to develop the class in Australia and for his voluntary contribution being Member Asia Pacific in the Executive Committee during 2013-2015!

Melges 24 3D gift by agnes Torm / Klaasdisain (EST)

Warwick will be awarded with this Thank-You-gift - piece of glass art by Agnes Torm / Klaasdisain.ee (EST)

Source: Melges 24 Class of Australia