Vale Kirby O’Brien

The J24 Class in Australia and Melbourne in particular have lost one of our dearest members.

Kirby came to us around 2008 and quickly realised a love of sailing, crewing with Mike Lewenhagen and then chartering his boat when he went overseas, a gutsy move as she was still very new to sailing. But that was typical of Kirby’s attitude to life –travelling, sailing, cycling, bush walking, running, swimming, kayaking, in fact almost anything outdoors and fitness oriented. She was cool in her Mini Cooper, gorgeous in her race going finery and our happy Kirb at the club.

She sailed with many of us at Sandy predominantly with Simon Grain, Ron Thomson and Hugo Ottaway in recent years.

Kirby also enjoyed a road trip and made many new friends at regattas interstate.  Just in the past year she sailed with Shane Guanaria and Arthur Crothers to a second place finish in the Nationals, travelled with Hugo to win the Cronulla Short Course Regatta, again with Hugo and the all-conquering team on Bruschetta VI to win the Women In Sailing (WISC) regatta. Her smile, quick wit and dry sense of humour made every boat she was on a brighter, happier place to be.

Kirby was about fun in her busy life as we all know, but she was also a tireless worker on the Vic Committee for years and earlier on the National Committee, both as treasurer – always volunteering first for work to be done, she gave so much to the class and all of us. She had a strong moral code and stood up for what was right, she spent time as a volunteer in Africa and travelled extensively to many parts of the world including many off the beaten track.

Kirb has left us far too soon and her energy and smile will be greatly and sadly missed.

You will sail on with us in our hearts Kirb.  Rest In Peace.