It is with regret that ISAF reports the passing away of Chris TIMMS (NZL), double Olympic medallist.
Yesterday morning Chris and a colleague took off from Ardmore airport (south of Auckland) to practice aerobatic manoeuvres in preparation for an airshow scheduled for this weekend. Observers report seeing them looping and rolling, and then suddenly spinning straight down into the shallow waters of the Firth of Thames, south east of Auckland. Neither survived.
While maintaining an interest in sailing Chris became very active in flying in recent years and gained the respect of his flying companions to the same extent accorded him in sailing and Olympic circles.
Chris teamed up with Rex SELLERS in 1984 and in their first regatta together they won Olympic Gold at Long Beach. Four years later they won Silver at Pusan - both times in the Tornado Class. Chris was regarded in New Zealand and internationally as one of the best technicians in sailing, and loved as one of our sport's characters.
In his business life Chris established one of the top companies in the composite construction industry in NZ and abroad.
On one of her visits to NZ HRH Princess Anne, Princess Royal, presented Chris with an Olympic award in Auckland. During the presentation Chris's charming exuberance engaged the Princess for much longer than the event organiser had planned. Others of us enjoyed the occasion. I am confident that Princess Anne also enjoyed Chris's interesting company, and most probably remembers it all.