The Crew – Tony Owens

 

Married for 34 years to Shelley, Tony has two daughters (and one granddaughter) who together have had the opportunity to experience living in a variety of places from the bush north of Kalgoorlie to the metropolis of Toronto.

 

It is a mystery why Tony developed an affinity for being on (not in) the water.  There were no indications in the genes except for a favourite uncle who was in the Navy during the war.  For some reason he was drawn to Sea Scouts, learning early on to row and sail among other things.  He built a racing dingy in his teens and raced at the local yacht club.  He also went on to row for his school in the 1st VIII, an interest he has reignited with Caulfield Grammarians Rowing Club over the last decade.

 

After his officer’s training for the RAN was curtailed, a 25 career in mining engineering restricted his access to the water.  Eventually he and Shelley owned two keel boats while living in Toronto and on returning to Melbourne in the late 90s Tony became a regular crew on a friend’s Northshore 34, racing regularly including 3 Melbourne to Launceston races.

 

With cruising on his mind he has taken part in several Bass Straight cruises and a cruise up the Tassie west coast. Now the owner of an Arends 33 cruising yacht which he sailed down from Pittwater to Melbourne he is looking forward to exploring Tassie more extensively.  He has obtained an ORCV Sea Safety Course Certificate, a Boat Handling Certificate, and a Radio Operators Certificate of Competency (incl HF).

 

Tony is particularly excited about the prospect helping those less fortunate than himself though an activity that he loves.  Sailing provides an ideal self contained method of accessing remote areas and improved eyesight has the potential to dramatically change the lives (not just the health) of those reached.  This seems to be a means of providing help that these people could not get any other way.