Home' Afloat : AFLOAT June 2015 Contents 52 AFLOAT.com.au June 2015
Patricia Warn, a 59-year member of the
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia passed
away on Monday, 27 April aged 85.
With her fraternal twin, Joyce, Pat was
a guiding light in the Yngling class, which
made its entrance to the Olympic Games
in 2004. The sisters have also been an
inspiration to women in sailing.
Pat and Joyce, who turned 85 in March,
lived together in Manly, and did everything
together – including joining the CYCA in
1956. They were impossible to pick apart
unless you knew them well. Most people
thought they were identical twins, but Pat
and Joyce would correct them: “We are
fraternal twins! ”
The difference being that identical
twins come from one egg split into two,
while fraternal twins come from separate
eggs, and would not usually look alike.
Pat was the skipper, Joyce the crew.
Pat was the quieter one, Joyce the
spokesperson. They both encouraged
many young women sailors into the Yngling
keelboat they had won so many regattas
with, including Tneal Kawala who sailed
bow for the sisters for some time.
The ladies may have been light in
weight, but they were tough opponents on
the race course with a lot of confidence
and nerves of steel.
Pat and Joyce travelled the world with
their Yngling, surprising a lot of younger
sailors in the class; not only because of
their age (they were still competing at the
top level well into their seventies), but
because of their canny ability to pick the
shifts in the class they knew back to front.
And they were tough to beat in light air.
In 2002 the twins were made Life
Members of the International Yngling
Association and of the Royal Sydney Yacht
Squadron for their services to the class and
to sailing in general. When they weren’t
competing, the ladies were in on-water
race management crews at major regattas.
And they were very approachable, always
happy to pass on their knowledge.
Pat and Joyce won at least four
Australian Championship titles, sailing
their boats Missey and the well-named
Canny. In 2006 Pat and Joyce bought a
new boat Holly.
Nicky Bethwaite said they were damn
“I’ll never forget one of the qualifying
regattas, the Nationals being sailed in
Melbourne, when they won a race by five
“ When Karyn Gojnich (then Davis)
and I trained for and competed in the
Olympics in the 470 in 1988, the Warns were
extremely supportive. As the enormity
of the challenge became apparent – the
cost of equipment, overseas training
and coaching – we found we had strong
support from Pat and Joyce. They turned
up at all our fundraising events and were
nothing short of brilliant in encouraging
us to succeed.
“Fast forward to another Olympics
challenge in 2004, this time in the Yngling.
Pat and Joyce was fantastic. They took us
under their wing in 2001 and were generous
in sharing their knowledge and experience
of the class.”
In 2004, again in a light 5-7 knot breeze,
it was reported from the Yngling Worlds
at Santander in Spain: “Although only one
race has been sailed, it is extraordinary to
note that Sydney’s Warn sisters, in 27th
place and steered by Pat are leading the
Australian Olympians for Athens.
“Even more extraordinary, is that the
stalwarts of the Yngling class in Australia,
Pat and Joyce are aged in their early
Pat lived life to the full and gave so
much to the sport of sailing. She will
remain in a lot of memories. h
David John Fairfax of Mooloolaba
died on 18 April 2015 at the age of 68.
Born in Sydney in 1947, David’s sailing
started at the age of 14 in VJs on Sydney
Harbour and progressed through classes
including 18-footers, sailing against the
likes of Iain Murray and Peter Sorenson
and then through various racing yacht
classes. During this period David was a
member of RPAYC, Middle Harbour YC,
CYCA, BYRA, Woollahra YC, MH 16ft SC,
18ft Squadron, the 18ft League, and the
While at the CYCA, he assisted in
coaching the Premier youth and ladies
crews. Over the years he won a number
of Club, Australian, International and
Interdominion championships and
Pat Warn (seated on left) sailing with sister Joyce at Sail Melbourne.
YNGLING GUIDING LIGHT
until 2012. His untiring work during the
early years of the Club was a significant
factor in its success and growth.
After apparently defeating his cancer
some months ago, David suffered a
sudden relapse and died peacefully. He is
survived by his widow Elin Kristoffersen
whom he married in 2011, and his son,
Tim, and grand-daughters, Lily and
Olivia. We remember David as generous,
unselfish and open-hearted. h
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