18 May 2015

Ian Gibbs, Admiral's Cup champion dies at 87

Gibbs's standout performer Swuzzlebubble III - seen here on her way to being the top yacht in the New Zealand Admiral's Cup trials in 1981, and went on to take individual honours in the Cup itself (photo P Montgomery/Sail-world)

Sail-World reports today that Ian Gibbs, one of New Zealand's top offshore owner/skippers, has died at the age of 87 years. 
In a 20 year period Gibbs competed very actively and with considerable success in major international regattas in the offshore rating classes - principally in Half-Tonners, and then in the Admiral's Cup, sailed from Cowes, Isle of Wight. The now defunct Admiral's Cup was widely regarded as the World Championship of offshore racing. 

Gibbs' Swuzzlebubble IV during the 1983 Admiral's Cup
Gibbs skippered his yacht Swuzzlebubble III to be the top individual boat in the 1981 event, and sailing a chartered sistership was the top New Zealand competitor in the 1983 Admiral's Cup. He was well performed in four Half Ton Cups, most notably with Swuzzlebubble I/II in the 1977 and 1979 events. 

Previous articles and tributes to Gibbs' many campaigns during the heyday of New Zealand offshore yachting can be found by clicking on the "Ian Gibbs" label below.
Gibbs' last offshore racing yacht, his Mumm 36 Swuzzlebubble 9, seen here during the 1994 Kenwood Cup in Hawaii (Gibbs can be seen on the leeward side of the cockpit aft)

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