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21/03/1926 - 22/06/2012

Rolly Tasker was one of Australia’s finest yachtsman, proven by his outstanding achievements. In 1948 he built his third Sharpie “Falcon II” by himself – hull, spars, sails, fitting and rigging, and won 28 championships with it over a seven year period, this feat being an all time record.

In 1956 Rolly became Australia’s first yachting Olympic Medal winner when he won a Silver in the Melbourne Olympics. His success continued when in 1958 he won the World Flying Dutchman Championship. Previous to that, in 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955 he won the Australian 12sq. metre championship. In 1956, as well as winning a silver medal at the Olympics he also won the Australian International 12sq. metre championship.

In the years of 1957, 1958, 1960, and 1962 Rolly won the Australian Flying Dutchman Championship. In 1966 he won both the World B Class Catamaran Championship and the Australian B Class Catamaran Championship.

From 1969 – 1985 Rolly dominated the WA Ocean Racing scene with his five famous Siskas. Numbers II – V were all built and completely outfitted by himself and he also designed numbers II and IV. With these boats Rolly won every race on the WA calendar more than once. He also set records in all of them, some of which still hold.

His sailing records include the 1978 Sydney Hobart when Siska IV was denied official starter status on a technicality. However she sailed the course starting five minutes ahead of the fleet and finished an amazing 20 hours ahead of Official Line Honours winner “Apollo”.

In 1979 Rolly took Line Honours and first place in Golden Fleece Race from Melbourne around Tasmania and return (810n. Miles) and set the record of 4 days 19 hours and 32 minutes. He also took Line Honours and first place in the Queen Victoria Cup off Cowes (Eng) beating the world’s best maxi yachts and Admiral’s Cup entrants. He also took first place in A division of the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race which claimed 19 lives, in 3 days, 3 hours, and 54 minutes. In the Parmelia race from Plymouth to Fremantle he took Line Honours in record time.

Other victories included the Fremantle -Geraldton and Fremantle -Bali races.

Rolly became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006 for his services to sailing.


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