André Nelis 1935 – 2012
André Nelis one of Belgium greatest sailing heroes passed away on December 9th. He was a fiercely competitive sailor, a double Olympic Finn medallist (1956 – 1960) and twice World Champion Finn (1956 – 1961). After his Finn career André started building sails until in 1973, together with Joep Straus, be started the first North loft for offshore sail in Europe. The Antwerp loft became a great success and André continued to sail keelboats in the only way he knew how to sail; competitively.
Ashore a great sense of humour, a joke at hand any time of day but once he heard the starting gun he ran the boat old school, with iron fist, knife between his teeth and loud as a Kiwi ! He will be much missed both on the water and ashore. – John Lammerts van Bueren
December 14th, 2012