Brittany Shanahan - 8 October 2013
83-year old sailor John Dick is defying the odds as the oldest competitor in sailing at the 14th Australian Masters Games in Geelong.
It was not until John was 16 years old that his love affair with sailing began at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club but it was quite the contrary prior to that epiphany.
“I said to myself some years ago, what am I, who am I? I’m a water sportsman!” Dick said.
“I did some interstate sailing straight away in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne as a junior and by the time I was 21, I had been round all states bar one.
“It’s now my sport, keeps me fairly fit and I enjoy it immensely.”
Since retiring from the workforce, Dick works sporadically as a jeweller in Black Rock and ensures there is enough time in his day for sailing to, as he says, keep him young.
“I retired a little earlier, seeing as though there was some bad family (medical) history and I thought I would get some (sailing) time while I can,” he said.
“The family weren’t living long out of Scotland, the first world war and being heavy smokers they didn’t make it past 50 years old and here I am at this age, so I count my blessings a little bit.
“I’ve enjoyed my sailing and I’ve done many championships through the times.”
But this jeweller by trade returns for his sixth consecutive Masters Games, this time in the company of his granddaughter, Lucy Dick – who is competing in rowing.
When asked whether he has another Masters Games in him, the 83-year-old replied with an emphatic,
“Yes - so it goes on, we keep coming and enjoy it!”
Currently, Dick is in sitting in sixth position out of a possible twelve in the sabre sailing category for the over 64’s age group. Heats will continue to run off the Eastern Beach waters until Friday..
The Australian Masters Games will be staged until Saturday 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
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