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Human Interest

This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

The Star Class is Celebrating Sir Durward Knowles
By Lynn Fitzpatrick
Nov 10, 2007, 10:30

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Sir Durward Knowles, photo by Fried Elliott
The International Star Class Yacht Racing Association and the Bahamas are celebrating the 90th birthday of Class Commodore, Sir Durward Knowles. Sir Durward was the Star World Champion in 1947 and had an Olympic career that spanned forty years from 1948 through 1988, a record he shares with Magnus Konow, Ivan Osuer and Paul Elvstrom.

At his Olympic debut in 1948 in Torquay, England, in which he represented England, he placed fourth. He won his first Olympic medal, a bronze, in 1956 at the Melbourne Olympics and in 1964 at the Tokyo Games he won the Bahamas first ever Olympic Gold medal sailing with Cecil Cooke as his crew. Following his seventh Olympic appearance, in 1972, everyone thought his Olympic career was over, but he returned in 1980, at the age of 70. It was his seventh time representing the Bahamas and his eighth and final Olympic appearance in the Star. In the history of the Olympic Games, Sir Durward was the third oldest competitor.

Sir Durward has steered an enriching course of community service in the Bahamas where he has been Honorary Vice President of Charity Guide No. 37, Co-Chairman of One Bahamas, Vice President of the Bahamas Olympic Association, President of Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled and Director of Sir Durward Knowles Cheshire Home, to name a few. Forever a champion of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association, Sir Durward reflected on his accomplishments as a Bahamian sailor, “Any sailor who has won an Olympic Medal or won a World Championship in the Star Class is considered the best in the world. I had the distinction of winning a Bronze and a Gold, therefore it shows that an Island Boy from a population of 300,000, has the same chance to win a medal in the Olympics as a top notch sailor from anywhere in the world.”

Happy Birthday and thank you for being such an inspiration!




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