Kiwi sailing great and former Olympic gold medallist Earle Wells has died at the age of 87.
Wells, who won gold for New Zealand in the yachting Flying Dutchman class alongside the late Helmer Pedersen at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, died on Friday last week.
Along with being a world class sailor, Wells was also a rower and his coxed four narrowly missed out on selection for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
In the late 1960s, Wells took up the challenge of ocean racing, first helming Anticipation, and then Condor. He sailed in five Sydney to Hobart races, the Clipper Cup series off Honolulu and many other ocean races.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
When he finished competitive sailing, Wells became a representative of the Auckland Yachting Association for many years, also becoming chairman for three years.
In 1990, Wells and Pederson were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.
Wells was the husband of Jean of 55 years until her passing in 2019, and father to Leanne and John Howard. He had three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
"Life is not always plain sailing, life has been a series of tacks and running with the wind. But now he's crossed the finish line for the final time, where Jean is waiting for him," a family statement said.
Before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this year, Wells spoke to the Herald about his triumph in 1964.