Behind the scenes

Three-time world champion in 470s Hamish Willcox moved on into a successful career as an America’s Cup and Olympic coach and met man… while with wife Ulrika producing two children each Olympians and in two entirely different disciplines. As Andy Rice explains, for the man the Oracle sailors called their ‘Weather Padrone’ the big successes continue to pile up

Who bursts on to the scene and wins an Olympic class world championship at their first attempt? Especially at the age of 21.

Hamish Willcox, with fellow young Kiwi David Barnes, achieved just that when they embarked on their 470 campaign and competed at the 1981 World Championships in Quiberon in Brittany. So how did two young New Zealanders fly from the other side of the world to beat so many legends in their first senior international championship?

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