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Thirty years later, a Flyer crew reunion

Sep 22, 2011
<p><em>Flyer</em> won the first Whitbread race. A crew reunion will commemorate the victory’s 30th anniversary.</p>

Flyer won the first Whitbread race. A crew reunion will commemorate the victory’s 30th anniversary.

In an effort to mark the 30th anniversary of Dutchman Conny van Rietschoten’s second victory in the Whitbread Round the World Race aboard his 76-foot Frers-designed maxi, Flyer, Barry Pickthall of PPL Ltd., a media company in the U.K., is hoping to contact former crewmembers for a reunion in Alicante, Spain. The reunion is planned to coincide with the start of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race, Nov. 1-5.  

For many of the young crew, that campaign and Rietschoten’s previous Whitbread win aboard his S&S ketch (also called Flyer) in 1977-1978 marked the start of their sailing and business careers.

These crewmembers include Onne van der Wal who went on to become one of the world’s preeminent marine photographers and Bill Biewenga, now an authority on marine weather. Others include Gerry Dijkstra, Flyer’s navigator and watch leader in ’77-78 who is now a world authority on super yacht designs and rigs.

Pickthall is hoping to contact the following crewmembers:

Flyer: 1977-78                                 
Hugh Wilson - U.K.                             
Bert Dijkema - Netherlands                 
Bruce Ashwood - U.K.                 
Marcel Laurin - France
Chris Moselen - N.Z.
Rod White - U.K.
John Anderson - U.K.

Flyer: 1981-82
Stephen Harrison - Australia
Patrick Antelme - France
Dick Reidel - Netherlands

If their whereabouts are known please contact Barry Pickthall at:
ppl@mistral.co.uk.