About the Author
Frank Bethwaite has been at the leading edge of national and world class sailing for over fifty years. Apart from his own outstanding racing successes, he has coached every level of would-be champion from basic to Olympic standards. Within his own family, three are Olympic champions and three are world champions in four classes.
From a background which included aeronautical engineering and meteorology, Frank spent thirty years in military and civil aviation and finally in scientific flying. His leisure pursuits, other than sailing, have been model gliders (twice open world endurance record holder) and also flying high performance gliders, which he used to explore the detail of some of the atmosphere's movements.
When he retired from flying he decided to find out how sailboats worked, so that he could try to make them sail faster. The experimental years followed, in which a combination of controlled experiments and fleet evaluation released a surge of creativity and the average speed of small sailboats increased from about one third the windspeed to about one half. This work then blended into a period when Frank and his family became involved with very high performance boats, partly the eighteen foot skiffs of Sydney and partly a series of twenty much smaller and progressively faster experimental craft. That the average "round the buoys race" speed of two thirds the wind speed has now increased to windspeed or faster, is in no small way due to Frank's theoretical and experimental input.