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Rolly Tasker, sportsman and businessman, among Australia's greats

Phuket and Aussie Sailing Legend Rolly Tasker Dies at 86

Friday, June 22, 2012
Today's Updating Report

PHUKET: Rolly Tasker, perhaps the greatest yachtsman ever to call Phuket and Australia his homes, is dead at the age of 86, say reports from Australia.

Rolly Tasker was the ancient mariner, a man whose sun-bleached face told the story of 7000 competitive races over decades under sail in salt water.

He started in sailing at the age of six and in old age, established the Australian Sailing Museum.

His self-named sail-making loft in Chao Fa Road West made acres of sails that spread above the world's yachts, in all classes and all sizes. About 400 locals are employed there.

Most of the sail-makers are women. They were in tears today on learning of Mr Tasker's death.

He was an Olympic silver medal winner, and the saga of how he should have won the gold in 1956 is just one of the incredible tales of a life that has already become a biography to rival that of Australian cricket great, Donald Bradman.

To spend time with Tasker was an amazing experience. His greatest achievement, he says, was in sailing so many races and never failing to complete a single one. He also never lost a crew member.

Born into the days of timber, rope and sails of natural materials, Rolly Tasker sold modern-day synthetic materials because it was what sailors wanted for speed. But he swore no modern materials could match the traditional ingredients.

Mr Tasker died peacefully in Australia at 2am today, his family says. His is survived by Kerry, his third wife, who makes a home on Phuket and in Western Australia.

Comments

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R I P Rolly. Thank you for the autographed book I won in a compitition here. Thank you for your great insght and tales of the sea. Gone but you will never be forgotten.

Posted by Graham on June 22, 2012 10:16

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Rolly, you were a legend and an inspiration to all those that regard the sea as home and a way of life.
Condolences to Kerry.

May you rest in Peace.

Posted by innocent bystander on June 22, 2012 10:24

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A sad loss. An amazing man. RIP Rolly.

Posted by Duncan on June 22, 2012 10:52

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R.I.P. Mr. Tasker,

With respect for what you have achieved & done for Phuket. You will stay in Phuketians' minds.

Posted by PhuketExpat on June 22, 2012 13:12

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My condolences to Kerry and Mike Tasker and all the staff at the factory. You had the privilege to know an extra-ordinary person. I was deeply moved when I read about Rolly's death.

Posted by Guenter Bellach on June 22, 2012 21:50

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My condolences to his familie. Respect for him what he made from a small factory at Claremont.
RIP Rolly

Posted by Lenny on July 2, 2012 02:49

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Farewell Rolly... a true Statesman..proud fellow Olympian..and bloody nice bloke!...you lead by example and have left a great legacy

Posted by Alan Chesney on August 9, 2012 02:31


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