John started sailing in Sharpies aged 19, and represented the State three times and had fourteen years of successful competition in lightweight sharpies. Ocean cruising and racing experience with his father included a very fast delivery trip to Sydney in Trevassa which, he says, illustrates the strength of his father's boats: "We were well abeam of Green Cape on the Australian south coast running in a 50 to 60 knot south-westerly gale. The seas were big and lumpy and I was sitting below with Jock and Dave Wardrop. Suddenly I felt the sternlift and out of the port I could see a big sea breaking." "Trevassa was standing almost vertical with her mast horizontal to the water as she plunged downwards. The wave we estimated to be about 60 feet and was apparently caused by two following seas colliding and breaking together. The next big sea washed the boat flat and down below a staysharp knife flew from its scabbard across the cabin and just nicked the navigator, Ken Ryman's nose. Incredibly that was the only damage."
Three men in a boat? Well, almost ... skipper John Muir takes a concerned glance over his shoulder as Chris Fulgsang tries out some acrobatics on the Ross Muir-built sharpie, Stratus. Bobby Lange is for,d.