WHEN his father Jim owned a boat shed in Sydney it made sense the path Frank O'Rourke was going to follow had to involve water.
It only took eight years for Mr O'Rourke to learn how to sail and he hasn't looked back, winning more than 20 state titles since.
"I grew up at The Spit in Sydney; my father owned the boatshed and we lived on top of the boatshed," he said.
"My father was a shipwright and an Australian champion in 16-foot Skiffs so I having a sailing club next door to us as a neighbour meant I took it up.
"I like competing and still enjoy sailing so I still do it. I started when I was about eight so that's about 50 years."
He will have the opportunity to add his state championship numbers when the NSW Arrow Catamaran State Championships head to Port Macquarie on March 13 and 14.
Outside of growing up and living on top of a boatshed, why did Mr O'Rourke take up sailing?
"I enjoy the whole thing about sailing because with these boats you can build them yourself, then you rig them and then you've got to set them up and compete," he said.
He doesn't subscribe to the philosophy that luck plays a part.
"It's not luck when the good boats keep winning; it's only luck if you do it once," he said.
"You've got to have concentration and experience first and some people are more naturally talented than others."
Last year at Toukley some broken equipment early in the weekend brought an end to his quest for glory.
"I had two wins and three did not starts," he said.
A number of boats from Coffs Harbour and Canberra will make the trip to Port Macquarie Sailing Club for the 2021 event, but there will be one sailor who won't be competing.
"It's hard to know who will be here because some of the guys are injured," Mr O'Rourke said.
"One of the guys Rohan Nosworthy is a very good sailor who is an Australian champion in a couple of other classes including Heron's and NS14s, but he won't compete which is unfortunate."
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