Former Olympic gold medalist Earle Wells. Photo / Andrew Warner
The great sailing kiwi and former Olympic gold medalist Earle Wells has passed away at the age of 87.
Wells, who won gold for New Zealand in the Flying Dutchman yachting class alongside the late Helmer Pedersen at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, died on Friday last week.
As well as being a world-class sailor, Wells was also a rower and his four helms narrowly missed selection for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
In the late 1960s, Wells took up the challenge of ocean racing, first at the helm of Anticipation, then Condor. He has competed in five races from Sydney to Hobart, the Clipper Cup series off Honolulu and many other ocean races.
When he finished competitive sailing, Wells became a representative of the Auckland Yachting Association for many years, also serving as president for three years.
In 1990, Wells and Pederson were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.
Wells was Jean’s husband for 55 years until his death in 2019, and father to Leanne and John Howard. He had three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
“Life is not always easy, life has been a series of tacks and races with the wind. But now he has crossed the finish line for the last time, where Jean is waiting for him,” said a family release.
Ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this year, Wells spoke to the Herald about his triumph in 1964.