Old Salt put to sea – Ian Unmack

Ian Unmack

Sailability participant and long time yachtsman Ian Unmack passed away recently. In his declining years he came to Sailability Blairgowrie each Tuesday.

BYS member, Val Smith often sailed with him, and in her description of their interaction she comments : “… he said he was just happy to be on the water…… he was a man of few words…so he and I used to race – bet nobody knew that …I always offered him the tiller but he was happy to be the tactician ……I will miss Ian, bless him.”

Val’s words describe the interaction which many of the volunteers have with the participants. They reflect the value of the program for both the volunteer and for the visiting sailor ..like Ian.

Full extract from Val Smith

I used to love taking Ian out. He was a man of few words but I would fill in the gaps for him, so he and I used to race – bet nobody else knew that! He told me he used to be a hot shot racer and I asked him if the cumbersome 303’s were a bit boring, but he said he was just happy to be on the water. So I said that all boats should be able to sail at their best performance and we would discuss the things we could adjust – outhaul, sail trim, height etc etc, and slightly bemoan lack of vang, cunningham etc etc and enthuse about 303’s not clouting you over the head with the boom, not capsizing when things got tough etc etc. Off we would go, talking through whether to take the next boat to windward before the mark or do the rounding and get the inside edge etc etc! I always offered him the tiller but he was happy to be the tactician.

My daughter used to work at Sorrento Lodge and said Ian would appear ready for sailing every day, regardless of whether it was Tuesday. She arranged for an original painting, which she showed me, of sailing boats, for his room.

I will miss Ian, bless him

Cheers

Val

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