New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame > Inductees > Helmer Pedersen (1930 - 1987) and Earle Wells (1933 - )

Helmer Pedersen (1930 - 1987) and Earle Wells (1933 - )

Helmer Pedersen (1930 - 1987) and Earle Wells (1933 - )
When Earle Wells sought a skipper in 1961 for his Flying Dutchman class yacht, Pandora, and settled on a Danish émigré, Helmer Pedersen, an Olympic champion combination was born.

Pedersen had been a reserve in the 1960 Olympic team and had also been a reserve for Denmark at the 1952 Olympics. The new pair won the 1964 Olympic trials in Pandora but got off to a slow start in the racing in Sagami Bay on the outskirts of Tokyo.

They were 16th in the first race and failed to finish the second. But their fortunes changed and in the ensuing racing, they gained three firsts, a third and a fourth – enough to give them the gold medal, the second won by New Zealanders at an Olympics.
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