South of Perth Yacht Club

The Flag Officers, Management Committee, members and staff of South of Perth Yacht Club extend their heartfelt sympathy to the families of Robert Thomas and Paul Owen.

Robert was the owner and skipper of “Finistere” and a much respected Vice Commodore of Fremantle Sailing Club.

Paul was well known as crew on “Walk on the Wildside” and “Finistere” and worked as a shipwright for some time. Paul was the son of well-known yachting identity, Kevin Owens, a past Commodore of Fremantle Sailing Club.

Our condolences are extended to Robert and Pauls’ wives and families, and to their numerous friends.

Their loss to the West Australian sailing community will be felt for many years to come.


Australian Sailing

MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Sailing offers condolences to Thomas and Owen families
Australian Sailing and Yachting Western Australian, on behalf of the sailing community, offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Rob Thomas and Paul Owens, who passed away during racing off the coast of Western Australia.

Matt Allen, President of Australian Sailing expressed the feelings of many sailors saying, “I’m sure I speak for all of our members in offering our sympathies to the families and friends of Rob and Paul, who were lost on the weekend. Our thoughts are also with their four crew and to all those who assisted in the rescue, particularly fellow competitors who were quickly on the scene.

“We also express our thanks for the outstanding work of the many volunteers from the local Clubs, emergency services, search and maritime authorities who worked tirelessly over the weekend”, Matt added.

President of Yachting WA Mark Fitzhardinge said both men were experienced and respected sailors, “Rob and Paul were great friends to many here in the west and will be sorely missed.  At Fremantle Sailing Club, Rob was Vice Commodore and had been an engaged member of the Club and contributed over many years.  Paul has been sailing for many years and we mourn his passing.  Sailing is a strong community and will pull together to help the Clubs and their members during this sad time”.

Australian Sailing and Yachting WA are assisting Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and the relevant authorities with their investigations into the incident.