Nov 30, 2012, 6:17 AM
Post #3 of 5
From Jaren Leet:
Re: [The Publisher] EIGHT BELLS - Chris Corlett
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I met Chris Corlett in the early 70's and knew him well. In the early 80's, without his able help and energy, I would never have been able to purchase the 2-tonner that became Irrational, and without his guidance and introductions, the boat would never have turned out to be so special.
Then again in 1997, when I knew I would be returning to San Francisco Bay, he located and helped me purchase the J/105 Irrational Again, allowing me to participate in the fantastic growth and fun of that fleet. He taught me how to set up and sail the J/105, getting me up the learning curve and into the fun zone very quickly. In between we sailed and lunched together all over the place, the most memorable as part of the USA Team that defeated Britain in the British-American Challenge Cup in 1986.
Great guy. Great Sailor. An Honest Man. Chris will be missed!
From Richard Spindler, Latitude 38 publisher:
Decades ago Chris Corlett and Tom Blackaller - who, prior to Paul Cayard, was the most famous sailor to come out of San Francisco - were involved in perhaps the most famous mano a mano sailing duel in Northern California.
You have to understand that 35 years ago Mariner's Square in Alameda was in many respects the center of sailing in Northern California, and it's where young bucks such as the vociferous Corlett challenged only slightly older established bucks such as Blackaller - and often in front of half the sailing industry in Northern California.
It happened so long ago that we're a little fuzzy on the details, but either Blackaller or Corlett had bested John Beery in a match race in Lasers from Mariner's Square to the mouth of the Estuary and back. This was a big deal in itself, because not only was Beery no shrinking violet, he was also the landlord for Blackaller's North Sails and the yacht dealership Corlett worked for.
After Beery was bested, Corlett and Blackaller got into a public spat over who was the better sailor. Another race to the mouth of the Estuary and back was proposed, but this time in Santana 35s. It was a bad choice of boats for Blackaller, as Corlett sold the 35s and had raced them extensively, so he clobbered the then-king of San Francisco sailing in front of much of the sailing industry. There was more than a little gloating.
Corlett's most recent racing was in this summer's Pacific Cup with his son Jesse aboard David Britt's Beneteau First 10R Split Water. "He told me it was his most gratifying sailing experience," longtime friend Allison Lehman told us. "He was so proud of his son; he called him a 'natural'." -- http://tinyurl.com/Lat38-112912