Vale David Forbes OAM
Esteemed Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
26/01/1934 – 21/05/2022
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is mourning the passing of esteemed Member David Forbes OAM who passed away on Saturday May 21, 2022, aged 88.
Forbes was one of Australian sailings greatest contributors, being involved in top level sailing competition for over 20 years and one of Australia’s most successful yachtsmen throughout a domestic and international career.
Alongside an Olympic gold medal in 1972, Forbes won a 5.5m world championship in 1970, a Sydney to Hobart race in 1974, and ten Australian championships, in the Star (seven times), 5.5m, Soling, and Etchell classes.
Forbes represented Australia at three Olympic Games, 1968 Mexico City, 1972 Munich, and 1976 Montreal, and was a member of two America’s Cup challenges. He was also a part of the ‘Gretel II’ crew in the 1970 America’s Cup, and was relief helmsman in the 1977 America’s Cup.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair and life-long friend, John Bertrand AO met David in 1969 as a part of Sir Frank Packer’s Gretel II America’s Cup challenge.
“He was the most naturally gifted sailor I ever met,” said Bertrand at the passing of his great mate.
David’s career both in sport and business is one of celebration. He was an Olympic gold medallist in 1972 when there was no coaching and very limited support, he took on the world’s best and got the job done.
His business career was outstanding, building the soft drink company Shelley Ecks, which developed many modern in-house technologies and was eventually sold to Coca Cola. Right up until the end his mind was as sharp as a whip, he was completely tuned into environmental technologies, including solar energy and even nanotechnologies.
He was a friend and mentor to so many, including myself and the rest of the Bertrand family. He truly was a wonderful human being.”
Read David Forbes full biography here.