Congratulations to John H Buzaglo OAM

by / Thursday, 28 January 2016 / Published in Latest News

In the 2016 Australia Day honours this former BYS member was awarded an OAM for his service to sailing and sail training.

John and his wife Cath and daughters Lynne and Robyn joined BYS in 1962. In those days John sailed an XY16 but soon became actively involved in C Class catamarans and the Little America’s Cup. In 1964 he crewed for Lindsay Cunningham on Quest II in the world C Class championships (which they won) but they were then narrowly beaten by the British boat for the Little America’s Cup.

But ‘Buz’ as he was known, wanted BYS to campaign a C Class catamaran and for our club to have a go at the Little America’s Cup.  He and a few of his cat sailing mates formed a syndicate, gained sponsorship, appointed a designer and a boat builder and the result was ‘Miss Nylex’, the world’s first successful wing rigged racing catamaran.  This was 1972. BYS was the host club and it’s the half scale test wing rig that’s now on display in the BYS club entrance.  And that is John Buzaglo on trapeze in the ‘Miss Nylex’ photograph near the lift.

When John retired from Nylex in 1979, he moved to his property at Bittern where he created a lake large enough for small boat sailing.  For 17 years using a fleet of BIC 320’s (about the size of a Minnow) he founded and ran the Linden Lake Sailing School.  Most of the local primary schools sent their students there to learn to sail and he estimates that as many as 10,000 children had their introduction to sailing at Linden Lake.

John is now in his early 90’s and his health now prevents him from sailing but he still enjoys life residing in Mornington and trying to find time to complete his book on the early days of catamarans and the Little America’s Cup.

Chris Wilson

26 January 2016

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