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Bill Northam

Full name: William Herbert "Bill" Northam
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0 (183 cm)
Weight: 179 lbs (81 kg)
Born: September 28, 1905 in Torquay, Torbay, Great Britain
Died: September 6, 1988 in Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Sailing

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Bill Northam started as a youngster in athletics and then turned to dirt-track car and motorcycling racing. But he excelled in business and became the chairman of the Australian sections of both Johnson & Johnson and Slazenger. He did not take up sailing until he was 46, but he quickly became serious about it. Northam bought some property at The Basin, Pittwater in Sydney, and was taken out for a sail by a neighbor, and became interested. His house looked out over the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, and Northam would eventually name his 5.5 metre boat, which he raced at the Olympics, “Barrenjoey.”

Northam started out in larger 8-metre yachts, racing “Saskia” in England and winning the prestigious Sayonara Cup in 1955 and 1956. He had success racing “Caprice of Huon” in the Sydney-to-Hobart race, and raced “Jazzer” in the Sabre class. In 1962 he served as a member of Frank Packer’s syndicate for “Gretel,” which was the challenger for the America’s Cup.

In 1962 Northam decided to aim for the Olympics and went to the United States, asking naval architect Bill Luders to build him a 5.5 metre craft, the “Barrenjoey.” He made the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics and marched at the Opening Ceremony alongside his son, Rod, who was a reserve on the rowing team. In the competition, Northam skippered “Barrenjoey” to the gold medal. He was named Australia Yachtsman of the Year, and in 1966 was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1976 Northam was knighted for services to the community.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Mixed 5.5 metres Barrenjoey AUS 1 Gold

Mixed 5.5 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Date PTS T
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Final Standings 1964-10-12 5,981
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race One 1964-10-12 1,277 2-09:29
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Two 1964-10-13 499 2-38:52
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Three 1964-10-14 976 2-05:25
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Four 1964-10-15 1,277 2-00:51
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Five 1964-10-19 101
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Six 1964-10-20 1,277 2-11:45
1964 Summer 59 Tokyo Sailing Barrenjoey AUS Race Seven 1964-10-21 675 2-13:56
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