I’m Tony Tyson, I am 61 years of age, born in Sydney, live in Leichhardt and I’ve worked all my life as a public servant. My sport is sailing, especially yacht racing. I first sailed at age five and I’ve owned, or part-owned, my own boat since age eight. I began racing at age 11.
What gay and lesbian sporting clubs are you a member of and how long have you been with them?
I have been a member of the Australian Sailing and Cruising Club since its beginning in 1992. I was the founding commodore of the club.
When did you get involved in the club and why?
I assisted in the founding of the ASCC because I strongly supported the gay and lesbian sporting movement, then in its infancy, and I wanted my sport to be a part of it.
Who would you consider role models in sport? Why?
Several straight doyens of the sport whom I should probably not name here; Matthew Mitcham for his commitment to excellence while not forgetting that sport is essentially for fun.
What is your greatest sporting moment? Why?
Being selected to represent Australia at the world championships for my [yacht] class in 1981. I tried really hard for representational honours for four years and succeeded once.
What motivates you to keep going?
I keep going because I love sailing, though I now confine myself to club-level competition. No more championships!
Who is your biggest sports fan? How do they show their support for you?
Costa Rozakis is my biggest fan. He shows it by continuing to put up with my annoyingly pedantic and exacting standards in sailing. He and I own a small yacht together and his tolerance has been amazing.
What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
Finishing last in a national championship regatta in 1976.
What would you do without your sport?
Goodness only knows. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Would you switch to another sport?
I don’t believe I could have switched sports at any point, and neither would I have wanted to. I am very grateful to my parents (both keen sailors) for getting me into sailing so young.
Tell us about your best sports night our ever.
I really can’t remember one in particular.
How would you get readers interested in your sport?
I would suggest they attend one of the ASCC’s social nights (visit www.ascc.org.au). There they can meet boat owners and be invited sailing. The level of interest and involvement available is open. A couple of points that may help — most sailing in Sydney takes place on Saturday and/or Sunday, so if you generally roll out of a bar at 5 or 6am, you’re probably not looking for a stellar sailing career. You will generally be asked to meet at the boat at about 10am or 11am. You will need to be well rested and on song.
Secondly the cost of boat ownership is not as great as many might think.
What is the best thing about your sports club?
The ASCC has, since 1992, provided a forum where people with similar interests have met, who would not otherwise have met. Deep and lasting friendships have been formed, and probably some relationships too.

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