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NZ sailing great Cropp dies at 89

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016
Jack Cropp (R) and Peter Mander © Jack Cropp (R) and Peter Mander

Jack Cropp, one half of New Zealand's first Olympic gold medal sailing crew, has died at the age of 89.

Yachting New Zealand said Cropp died on Saturday. He was living in Takaka, in the Golden Bay region, where he moved with his wife and family 44 years ago.

Cropp and Peter Mander were New Zealand's first sailors to compete at an Olympics when they contested the Sharpie class in Melbourne in 1956.

They made the occasion memorable by winning gold, seeing off a tight challenge from an Australian crew.

Cropp and Mander finished second on points but claimed gold when France successfully protested against Australia for obstruction.

Born near Hokitika, Cropp trained and worked as a lithographer before moving into professional boat building and design.

He became commodore of the Canterbury Yacht and Motor Boat Club soon before his golden moment in Melbourne.

Cropp and Mander were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Mander died in 1998.

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