DISCOVER THE HISTORY
OF ROLLY TASKER
Rolly Tasker was born in Victoria Park, Western Australia in 1926 and was introduced to sailing at an early age. His hobby as a young boy was building model yachts and aeroplanes. By the time he was 6, with the help of his father, he built his first siling canoe and then at 10, his first sailing dinghy. Sailing then replaced these hobbies and quickly became his life-long passion. As a result of determination and a willingness to learn he went on to design and build 26 racing yachts, personally manufacturing the sails, masts, rigging and marine hardware for all of them. His name became synonymous with high quality, affordable, trouble free equipment which was available worldwide. In over 60 years of competitive sailing, Rolly Tasker has not retired from a single race as a result of sail, spar or gear failure and has won over two thousand races without an insurance claim. By the year 1990, Rolly held 16 long distancesailing records worldwide. This and many other sailing achievements have earned Rolly Tasker worldwide respect and given him unrivalled knowledgeof his sport and profession.
First for Melbourne Olympics and World Sailing Championships
2 years after Rolly Tasker opened his sail loft in Claremont, Western Austrlaia, Malcolm Scott (pictured) teamed up with Rolly to sail in the Melbourne Olympics in Falcon IV which finished first or second in all 7 races. They lost the Gold Medal for disqualification on Port and Starboard ruling in Race 7. Falcon IV was the only home built yacht.
Ian Palmer and Rolly Tasker teamed up to sail in the World Flying Dutchman Class Championships at Lake Attersee, Austria. Ian Palmer, a 16 year old school boy from Perth, was also new to this class of yacht and they were competing in another home built yacht, Falcon V, but still convincingly won the world Series beating 47 yachts from 24 countries.
Hong Kong Sail Loft (#3) opens
It was a bold decision to open a sail loft in Hong Kong, he was half a century ahead of his time however Rolly Tasker could clearly see the benefits of moving to a country where technology and labour were infinitely cheaper than in in Australia. His natural entrepreneurial skills and his capacity for hard work facilitated this risky move and made this loft a success and by the end of 1963 he was receiving regular orders from the US for various popular boat classes including ocean going yachts.
The birth of Siska
Rolly Tasker bought and re-designed the 21 year old yacht Kirribilli and turned her into a magnificent 50ft ketch, called Siska. She was either first or fastest in scores of events mainaly on the Australian south-west coast. The 576km Fremantle to Albany race proved to Rolly that he could build not only strong and durable yachts but also winners. After encountering severe weather conditions for 26 hours without a lull Siska crossed the finish line with line honours and in one peice. Siska also famously survived the horrors of the 1979 Fastnet Race where 30 yachts floundered or sank. Siska was the 3rd boat to cross the finish line despite suffering a snappped main boom.
Sail Loft No. 12
Rolly Tasker designed and built sail loft no. 12 on Phuket Island, March 2006. He fitted out the interior layout of sail cutting floors, sail design tables and engineering machinery by June 2007. The floor area is 100,000 square feet and employs 155 sail staff – 6 sail design specialists, riggers, spar manufacturers, rope makers, engineers and office workers, exporting a suit of sails every 7 minutes to 60 countries. On February 2nd, 2007 he exported his 2 millionth sail to Norway.
The death of a legend
Rolly died at 86 years of age. During his racing career he covered some 340,000 nautical miles.
He funded and established the Australian Sailing Museum in his home town of Mandurah, Western Australia, containing records of the history of Australia’s most successful sailors since 1861. He was inducted into Australia’s Sports Hall of Fame for his sailing achievements and named as Western Australia’s Best Ever Yachtsman only recently.
Rolly said that when he died he wanted nothing to change. His greatest wish was for the company to continue growing, supplying high quality products.
“We have supported Rolly in life and will continue to do so now he is no longer with us. He is going to be remembered as being a great sailor, entrepreneur, businessman and sailmaker by many. To those who he allowed to know him intimately he was also an outstandingly loyal and personal friend.”
Rolly Tasker Website Launch
Today the company continues to go from strength to strength. Earlier this year the loft installed a new Solent extra long, high arm sewing machine enabling production to move into much larger sails. The completion of an Offshore mainsail and Genoa for an 85ft catamaran and a 170m2 Genoa for a Camper & Nicholson 91 this year is testiment to the standard of production that the Rolly Tasker team are capable of.
High quality, competitively priced, speedy delivery and most important of all – a very happy customer – that’s our philosophy at Rolly Tasker Sails.
To achieve our objective our conscientious team of hard working and experienced sailmakers pay meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of sail production: including such things as sail design, sail cloth and hardware, construction, finish and quality.
To be competitively priced great emphasis is applied to optimizing costs on an on going basis. Sailcloth is purchased in bulk and the overwhelming majority of our sail fittings are made in house to ensure the quality is of the highest standard and the need to keep costs to a minimum. The company owns the land and buildings which minimizes further capital expense and the directors and shareholders have complete control over the destiny of the company.
We are proud that we are able to pass the resulting benefits on to our customers because we are extremely competitive in the marine business. This philosophy and the reputation earned, day in and day out, since 1949, has meant that the name Rolly Tasker is synonymous with high quality, affordable, trouble free equipment and sails, which are now found to be easily available all over the world.
OUR SAIL LOFT
The largest purpose built sailloft in the world
We selected Phuket Thailand for our export sailloft because of its key central location for the marine business in the South East Asia region, its skilled labour force, the ever growing arrival of visiting yachts from all over the world and the excellent infrastructure and services on the island. There are daily flights from Phuket International Airport to worldwide destinations and a dozen flights, each day, to Bangkok and vice versa. Exporting sails to over 60 countries from the Thailand sailloft could not be simpler.
Performance has a lot to do with quality, especially when the sail is used over a long period of time.
For more than 60 years we have built sails with this in mind. Decades of practical experience, producing over 2.2 million sails, combined with our in-house use of the latest technologies, enables us to maintain our leadership position, especially in the production of ocean cruising sails for which we are known world wide.
Sailors were ecologically friendly long before the world started to comprehend the meaning of ‘green’.
We understood this and this is why, when we built our new sail loft, we invested so heavily in the construction materials, the economic air conditioning system and the arrangement of the work place. It was vital to us to have a superb working environment with first rate facilities for the staff and have an ever open door for our walk in customers, who can enjoy a snack and a coffee whilst taking in the atmosphere and see sails being made.