Roger Fauchon

It is with sadness I have learnt that one of the Fireball class's pioneers has recently passed away.

Roger Fauchon was one of the group of very early enthusiasts who propelled the Fireball class from a new design to one where sail numbers increased at a dizzying rate.

Like Peter Milne, Roger sailed at Dell Quay SC and was therefore in the right place at the right time for Fireball. Not only did Roger sail with Peter in the prototype but Roger had boat-building premises at Dell Quay where he built many of the eight boats he owned. Far more more boats were built by enthusiastic amateurs under his watchful eye. A skilled craftsman, Roger's boats were almost works of art and often evidenced progressive thinking.

In the mid-1960s, Roger emigrated to New Zealand and, armed with a licence to build Fireballs in the Pacific region, produced all-GRP boats using a mould supplied by Jack Chippendale.

I believe he left the class a few years later although I did have the good fortune to meet him when he dropped by Dell Quay SC for old times' sake in the mid 1980s. He clearly had not lost a fondness for Fireball and was very interested in how the design had evolved.

His memory lives on through a trophy - the Fauchon Bowl - that remains at Dell Quay but, more importantly, through the continued success of Fireball. Were it not for Roger and a group of similarly-enthusiastic people in 1962 Fireball would not be the vibrant, popular class it is today.

Chris Turner

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