Barry Filer (2.7.1935 – 9.9.2020) was one of the longest serving members of the Solway Yacht Club (SYC). Early records show that he was already a member in 1950 thus making it 70 years of continuous association with the club. At this time he sailed GP14 235 and then Flying Fifteens with great success.
One little known fact about Barry is that he and his brother Peter gave Jackie Stewart his first ever racing cars in 1961. Initially this was a Marcos, followed by an Aston Martin with which he had immediate success, winning several races in his first year of competition. Jackie was eternally grateful to them for the start of his racing career and kept up with Barry throughout his life.
Barry also sailed for the Royal Gourock Yacht Club in 1970. He was Cadet Officer for the SYC both in 1979 and again in 1986. This showed his great interest in bringing forward the next generation of young sailors here at Kippford. He was also instrumental in the development, construction and funding of the new pier which was opened by Uffa Fox in 1958.
During his continued membership of the SYC he was also a distinguished member of the Clyde Cruising Club, being a Principal Race Officer and overseeing the Scottish Mirror and Flying Fifteen Championships in the mid 1990s.
Barry raced in many cruisers each of which was named “Off We Go”, these included a Bowman 46 and a Jaguar 22. In his later years his Sadler 29 was a familiar sight around Kippford, especially during Cadet and Kippford Weeks. During this time he was particularly helpful in towing boats out to race and supervising the races as they took place. His favourite site of observation was adjacent to the Torr buoy in Balcary Bay.
Apart from being a superb sailor he was a person of great character who everyone enjoyed watching and learning from. His unique contributions to the SYC over so many years are greatly appreciated. It is a privilege to have known him and he will be greatly missed.
Robert Dinwiddie, Commodore