Passing of Tony Prince, a real Enterprise great

Tribute by Pete Vincent

It is with great sadness I post this but thought many of you would like to know the very sad news that Tony Prince passed away on Sunday March 16th. He was sailing with his brother Colin in their RS400 at Wierwood Sailing Club when he felt ill and had a cardiac arrest; I believe he was confirmed dead at the club.

Colin and Tony had sailed together for over 40 years winning the Enterprise Junior Championships in the 70’s continuing to race Enterprises right at the front of the fleet. For many years they held the record for the fastest lap at West Lancs 24 Hour Race in an Enterprise in a gale. They changed to the RS400 I believe in 1995 and since then they have been a fixture at the 400 Nationals. Wierwood had been their home club for so long. Tony was a great competitor and a true gent off the water always ready to help anyone. I have had many a happy hour having a gentle beer with him at the bar after racing chatting over the day. He had polio as a boy which meant he lacked strength in one arm so he could not hoist the kite on the 400 which led to the always entertaining sight of Colin whilst helming hoisting regardless of wind strength. Great competitors they were legends in a blow with a fairly unique approach to gate starts – either come out first or last! How many first windward marks have I approached in Ents and 400’s thinking I was doing really well to hear this rushing sound over my shoulder as the Princes, bolt upright, planned over the top of everyone on a tight fetch slightly over the lay line for Tony to grin at me and shout see you at the leeward mark