Hub Bell passed away this week following a brave battle with cancer. Hub’s tremendous contribution to radio sailing in Australia is hard to measure and easy to underestimate. Over the course of Hub’s life, he held almost every office you can imagine at radio sailing Club level, State level and at the National level. He was a Life Member of the ARYA.
Hub took on the offices of National President, National Secretary as well as Registrar at various times. Here in Western Australia, Hub was heavily involved with the State Association for many years, working tirelessly to ensure radio sailing grew and prospered.
His home club was the Perth Radio Sailing Club. For many years, Hub was the mainstay of the club, being central to the running of the club, managing the day to day activities, storing and transporting the rescue craft and marker buoys, building and fixing the boats of most of the members as well as being the font of all radio sailing knowledge. His workshop had a never ending turnover of skippers wanting to do this and that to their boats, with Hub’s help.
In his earlier days, Hub would regularly travel across the Nullabour to participate in the National Championships. He won 4 National titles in the A Class, one in the Marblehead class and two in the Ten Rater Class. Sailing against Hub was always a challenge. His competitiveness never waned even as he aged. He is still one of the fairest and most respected competitors I have met.
On one occasion, Hub and his wife Maxine travelled to Italy to participate in the Marblehead European Championships, and in a quirky turn of events, managed to represent Norway at the Marblehead Worlds in Melbourne in 1998.
Hub knew Jackadder Lake like no other. His ability to make the most accurate judgements, read the tricky winds and sail his boat fast was legendary. Everyone reckoned Hub could sail a bathtub fast. Even in his declining years, sailing from a chair with others launching and retrieving his boat for him, he was still winning many club days.
Personally, I bought my first and second radio sailing boats from Hub. His help to get involved in radio sailing as a pastime was invaluable. He was forever passing on tips and tricks, as well as showing us all on the water that he was a difficult guy to beat. Along with many others, I will cherish his friendship and remember the great times we had together.
Hub was married for many years to Maxine, who sadly passed away a number of years ago. His son, Michael was also a very skilled radio sailor and ARYA Treasurer for a large number of years. Unfortunately Michael passed away at a very young age, leaving his wife and three young kids. Michael’s passing devastated Hub and Maxine. Hub is survived by his son Gary.
The ARYA, RSAWA, Perth Radio Sailing Club, Hub’s friends and the larger radio sailing community join to celebrate Hub’s life. May he be on the right side of that massive windshift in the sky.