"Well, George, we finally knocked the bastard off."
Before Chichester, before Bernard M. and Sir Robin, before Dame Ellen and another Francis... I had a hero. Not famous for a sailing achievement but nevertheless a man who inspired a little skinny kid in England by doing something nobody had ever done before...
I wasn't yet five years old but I remember the summer of 1953 vividly. England crowned a new queen and on the same day the news broke that a New Zealander and a Sherpa were the first to climb the highest mountain on the planet.
Sir Edmund Hillary died a few days ago and today his state funeral was held in New Zealand. His wish was for his ashes to be spread across Waitemata Harbour.
RIP Sir Edmund. You knocked the bastard off and I will always remember.