The members of the Irish Dragon Fleet were shocked to learn of the untimely death of Dave Nolan at his home last Monday 4 February at the relatively young age of 53. Dave was a hugely popular character in business, in sailing and among his wide social circle; many sailors will have met him in Dun Laoghaire last September when was "Minister for Fun" at the Worlds..Always good-humoured and smiling, and ever generous to his many friends, he was very much a social animal, equally at ease chatting to the flag officers in the club, or raving it up at a rock concert with his son & daughter and their friends.
Dave started sailing Dragons in the 70s in Kinsale with many of the greats from that era, but it was his partnership with John & Lee Kidney in Dublin in a succession of boats that proved the most enduring, and they achieved many successes locally and nationally, including winning the Irish Championship against strong opposition - which might have included some of the new breed of ‘professionals’.
Dave had a mischievous streak which was never far from the surface and in the debate last autumn about professional sailors he sent me this email: ‘In the past I had very serious reservations when Paul-Richard used to come over and wipe the floor with us at our National and Regional events....I felt it was an unusual way to treat one's current and future customers and that he and Sophie should attend a refresher course in marketing. Now I don’t mind so much; I think it’s good for us to race against them, and now that Paul-Richard doesn’t win quite so much anymore, I hope he hangs in long enough on the circuit for me to have a cut off him.’
Alas, this is not to be. Dave was so looking forward to campaigning this season in his new boat. In a defiant gesture to the fates who so nearly took him when he had a heart attack in the late 90s, he had christened the boat ‘Lazarus’ – what bitter irony!
As Dave wings his way to heaven he’ll surely be whispering Stav’s famous mantra to himself: Higher, Faster, Longer......
Dave is survived by his son Markham and daughter Claire.
Irish Dragon AssciationIDA
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