Former Carrick commodore pays tribute to sailing legend

Terry Windsor has paid tribute to an international sailing legend. INCT 48-733-CON
Terry Windsor has paid tribute to an international sailing legend. INCT 48-733-CON

Tribute has been paid to Carrick-born sailing legend Beattie Purcell who has died at the age of 91 years.

Beattie Purcell, from Trooperslane, helped to design and popularise the Catalina 22, one of the world’s best-selling sailing boats.

Mr. Purcell, a former member of Carrickfergus Sailing Club, moved to the Fort Walton area of Florida in 1977 to open a manufacturing centre for Catalina Yachts, one of the biggest boat manufacturers in the United States. He was a longtime member of Fort Walton Yacht Club.

Terry Windsor, a former commodore, of Carrickfergus Sailing Club, said: “Beattie was a well-respected sailor who designed and built boats. He used to live in a bungalow beside the sea.

“He was a first class sailor. He used to win everything. He was a hard man to beat.”

Mr. Purcell sailed the Catalina 22 in regattas around the world, winning multiple championships and is credited with introducing the sport to thousands.

Mr. Windsor went on to say that Beattie returned to visit Carrickfergus Sailing Club five or six years ago.