Like all his Yachting friends I was shocked at the news of the passing of Sir Peter Blake. "Blakey" was an Icon in our sport. He had accomplished so many things and had so much more he wished to do.
I first met "Blakey" in 1994 when ISAF awarded him the " ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award" for his Around-the-World Jules Verne record breaking achievement. Two years later he kindly volunteered to be the Host of the World Sailor of the Year Awards where his great personal presence and "Kiwi Humour" shone through.
In San Diego after winning the Americas Cup he invited me aboard the boat which was a great honour and I was in awe of how he had organized such a cohesive and impressive crew.
He then organized New Zealand's first defence where I again came into contact with his incredibly focussed dedication. He always put New Zealand first and then his loyalty to his sponsors.
He took an incredible risk here also in demanding that the waterfront in Auckland be totally refurbished leaving a great legacy to all the citizens.
I met "Blakey" again this summer in Cowes where he explained his new challenges with Cousteau and his dedication to cleaning up our polluted seas.
It is a great tribute to Sir Peter Blake that as far away as Toronto the local newspapers have made his untimely passing front page news paying a great tribute to a friend we are all in awe of.
What a sailor! What a man!