John Somers Payne a double Olympian of Cork Harbour sailing, died yesterday, aged 87.
Payne, a member of a well-known Munster sailing family, represented Ireland in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and four years later in Rome, competing in the Finn single-handed dinghy.
Somers was an inspiration to us all at RCYC because he was one of the first from Crosshaven to sail in the Olympic Games.
Payne’s national and international achievements also led him into Admiral’s Cup campaigns but he loved the National 18 class, a dinghy he sailed into his 70s.
In the run up to the Melbourne Olympics, in 1955 Payne walked from Heuston Station (then Kingsbridge) in Dublin city to Malahide for the trials, some 20km, after missing his bus.
He won the trial but the Irish Yachting Association required him to also attend a Finn event in the Netherlands (at his own expense) before nominating him to the Olympic Council for the 1956 Melbourne Games.
Our sympathies are with the family and friends of Somers Payne.
Ref: photo: Royal Cork Yacht Club