The name Dave Cox has been synonymous with the sport of sailing for well over 60 years. He was a great dinghy sailor, and then moved into keelboats where he also made his mark as one of the ‘greats’.
David was one of those rare highly accomplished seamen who did everything in his life in a seamanlike manner. His knowledge of seamanship was something he was always prepared to share with young and old, and he had an ability to attract up-and-coming youngsters and give them a firm grounding in seamanship and ocean racing.
I passed through the ‘David Cox School of Seamanship’ and was always thankful to David for giving me that opportunity which still stands me in good stead today.
Cox was a formidable foe on the race course, whether around the cans or long distance. He is one of just two people to have ever achieved a ‘grand slam’ of wins in the Lipton Cup by winning every single race in a series.
He was Commodore of the Point Yacht Club, and also Honorary Life Vice President of the PYC.
In sailing administration he was a highly competent administrator and served on the South African Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) council, the Cruising Association of South Africa (CASA) council, and latterly the South African Sailing (SAS) council.
I first sailed with Cox in 1978, and consider him not only a friend but mentor too as he taught me so much about the sport and seamanship. Having written the “Comments” column in SAILING Magazine since its inception almost 30 years ago, I had a long and close relationship with him.
But David will always be remembered for the legacy he left the sport in the form of the L26 and the L34. In their heyday these two one-design classes provided high quality close racing while also being the platform on which many people first got into the sport.
David Cox was a true gentleman, a great yachtsman, a fine seaman and a man who will always be missed as he contributed so much to our sport in so many different ways.
My condolences to Alison and his family.