It is really about Dick Nye gifting the trophies the “Carinas” had won over the years to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, coupled with the publication of a book of the history of the “Carinas” and the family whom owned them. I was part of the crew for only a short period of time, 2 transatlantic crossings, 2 fastnet races, 2 admiral’s cups, 1 bermuda race, and of course all the smaller races during that time. I keep many fine memories and hope to see many of the former crew there.
The following article is about “Max” Aitken. He was great friends with Dick Nye of “Carina”, Bill Snaith of “Figaro”, Norrie Hoyt, Uffa Fox. All men of enormous charm. I came to know him through these men.
It is an accumulation of thoughts that cause me to publish this now. I am certain all of you have been following the restructuring of the Olympic classes for sailing and of course the America’s Cup. Almost everyone involved in sailing at these levels is a professional. None of the aforementioned men were. I have purposely not offered commentary on the recent events in sailing as I find it has strayed so far from what I knew. The only grand prix sailing is at a professional level. It is dry ,methodical, disciplined. I understand the necessity to compete at the level that now exists. But where is the fun? Where are the characters?
Max never bragged about his accomplishments; He even refused to use the title “Lord Beaverbrook” because he did not want to behave in a way that he felt the title required. (neither did he renounce it in the case his son might wish to use it.)
I am fully aware that time can not be reversed. But where is the fun?
” NOBLESSE OBLIGE “
(From the TORONTO TELEGRAM, May 2nd 1942) – British social custom lays great emphasis on the obligation of the sons of privileged families to serve the State with distinction., This trait, which may be summed up in the phrase “noblesse oblige,” is the sole justification for privilege. If privilege is accepted as something which lays a special obligation upon its possessors, it is not unqualified privilege, but merely the granting of special advantages in the expectation of better results measured in terms of public service.
In wartime Britain the butcher boy and the civil servant, the bank clerk and the scion of an ancient house, each is pulling his weight. For some reason or other it comes as a surprise to people on the North American Continent that the sons of “the idle and pampered rich,” or the “decadent aristocracy,” should distinguish themselves in the dirtiest jobs. This surprise is due, perhaps, to the lack of a powerful national tradition of public service and the failure of the opportunist rich to instill into their offspring a recognition of the trustee nature of wealth and privilege.
These reflections are prompted by recent reports of the distinguished service rendered by such men as Lord Louis Mountbatten, Lord Lovat and recently by young Max Aitken, son of Lord Beaverbrook, who is a wing commander in the Royal Air Force. Wing Commander Aitken has already won the Distinguished Flying Cross and on Thursday night led the fighter squadron which, shot down four out of eight German raiders and scored a personal victory over a Dornier “80.”
Wing Commander Max Aitken, D.F.C., is not a member of a noble house of ancient lineage, but Lord Beaverbrook has brought up his sons in the British tradition. While it is fashionable now to sneer at the “old school tie” and attribute to it all the weaknesses which are found just as rampant in the other democracies where “old school ties” are not to be found, there is obviously something to be said for a system which produces capable and valiant leaders from wealthy and privileged homes.
I stumbled across this photo while looking for something entirely different. ( I have over one hundred thousand negatives spanning almost 50 years) I have been scanning and correcting images for several years now. It is a slow tedious process. There are photos which I still have not found that I know I have safely somewhere. I found an image a few days ago I had been searching for, for easily two years.
Back to this photo taken approaching the finish of the 1969 transatlantic race from Newport, RI to Cork, Ireland. That is Daunt Lightship on the bow of “Carina”, our finish. Richard B. Nye trimming the spinnaker. Finding this photo made me wish I had similar ones for each race I had sailed.
The National Sailing Hall of Fame has taken a while to get launched. Let’s hope it takes a healthy direction. We can all think a a number of worthy potential inductees. For Ocean Racing, I will be proposing Dick Nye Sr. of “Carina” fame. His accomplishments even without the context of time stand out.