No end in sight for veteran sailor

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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At 81, George Mardon is still in love with the ocean and hits the waters of Koombana Bay every week with his crew.

Mardon has been sailing for more than 70 years and believes there is no end in sight for his passion.

He is one of the oldest members at the Koombana Bay Sailing Club and is part of a four-man team that has almost 200 years of combined sailing experience aboard the Intruder, which is based on a 1960s sailing boat and was re-designed by Mardon himself and built by another crew member.

The quartet often includes other members in their sailing events.

“We need them to help read the gauges and read the navigation marks,” Mardon said.

“If we are out in front we need to be accurate where we are sailing to.

“We have difficulty sailing to these flags which are sometimes just half a metre out of the water.”

Mardon leads a crew of former skippers who take turns at the helm.

“The other similar sized boats are after us every night and it is excellent fun,” he said.

“The reason we enjoy our sailing is because the crew is made up mainly of four guys who skippered boats in their own right.

“Anybody can skipper the boat on any different night.

“We do not have to communicate with each other too much.”

Mardon said the team quite often had newcomers join the team.

“They seem to think we sail by committee, because quite often the decisions are made by the four guys who skipper the boat,” he said. “We have had a lot of success in that little boat.”

Mardon believes the success is due to the fantastic crew and the friendship they all have.

“It is really great and we all look forward to sailing together,” he said.

“Our Wednesday night successes are due to a combined effort and knowledge.

“We have all sailed for a long time and there is a lot of experience on the boat.”

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