SPORTING GREATS: Olympian Morris made big waves in sailing world

Curly Morris.
Curly Morris.
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Born in 1944, Curly Morris has a long and distinguished association with sailing as both a competitor and administrator.

A former pupil of Larne Grammar School, he began sailing at the age of 13 and in 1959 built his first boat, ‘The Sharpey.’

As a top athlete he represented Ireland in no fewer than 23 World, European and other major international championships. His successes include Helmsman’s Championship of Ireland in 1967 and the Irish Finn Championship in 1969 and 1975.

In 1972 he had the honour of competing in the Olympic Games. In 1976 he won the Irish Championship with his wife as crew, and repeated this in 1983 and 1987 while also winning the 2002 Irish National title with a new crew.

His involvement has been lifelong and he was Coaching Team Leader for the Irish team at three Optimist Class World Championships. He has helped many young people in their quest to become better sailors both locally and nationally.

As well as competing and coaching, Morris has been heavily involved in the administration of sailing close to home as a Sailing Secretary at East Antrim Boat Club, nationally during the formation of the Olympic Committee of the Irish Yachting Association, and internationally as a member of the Technical Committee of the International Optimist Dinghy Association and member of the IODA Executive Committee.

In 2004 the RYA President, HRH The Princess Royal, presented the RYA Awards to him recognising his invaluable and outstanding contributions to the world of boating.

The list really does go on and his involvement far-reaching. All this and more on top of a busy professional career as a Haematology Consultant. Also an expert in his professional career he received an OBE in 2008 for Services to Medicine.