Rob Mundle, yachting journalist, author and Australian sailing legend has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal.
Text Jeni Bone
Image Luke Marsden
“When it comes out of left field like this, that somebody has nominated me for an award to recognise me for my work, it’s just wonderful!” said Mundle. “Really, I am so blessed to be doing what I love, sailing and writing, media and events. It’s all about seeing people having good fun. On the sailing side, I get to meet the most interesting and beautiful people. It’s way ahead of any other sport as the great leveller. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how much you earn, we’re united by the beautiful religion of sailing.”
Mundle said people’s responses have been overwhelming. “People have been writing to me on Facebook, coming up to me and shaking my hand. It has been incredible to hear how my work has touched them.”
Known in all boating circles as ‘the voice of sailing’ in Australia, Mundle is an internationally recognised author, a competitive sailor and TV and newspaper commentator/journalist.
Out on the water at the age of one and sailing competitively from 11 years old, Mundle has sailed on everything from sailboards and 18 foot skiffs through to supermaxi yachts and large offshore multihulls, and introduced two significant sailing classes, the Laser and the J24, to Australia.
His working life has been based around all facets of journalism, writing, corporate promotions, event management, sailing and boat building. After leaving school he became the first cadet journalist employed in the Sydney office of the national daily newspaper The Australian, in its inaugural year. He trained as a general news reporter, however from the very early days he was able to combine his passion for sailing and boating with his career path, as a columnist on sailing and general boating for the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.
In the 1980s he established a career in TV as a reporter, commentator and, at one stage, was prime-time news weatherman on the TEN network in Sydney. He was also a reporter and weatherman for ‘Good Morning Australia’. He has reported for television and/or newspapers on seven America’s Cup matches (including the live international television coverage of Australia’s historic win in 1983), four Olympics and numerous other major events, including the Sydney to Hobart classic for more than 35 years, as well as being a competitor on three occasions.
For the past four years Mundle has been Media Manager for the 30 metre supermaxi yacht, Wild Oats XI, the most successful yacht in the 68-year history of the classic. In recent years Rob has been an organiser of Australia’s largest keelboat regatta – Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Prior to that, he was the founder of the acclaimed Hayman Island Big Boat Series. Mundle also contributes to his community in his role as an Ambassador for the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and is a Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Maritime Foundation. He is the only Australian member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee. In 2004, Mundle moved from Sydney’s northern beaches to Main Beach, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. He was Commodore of Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast from 2010 to 2012.
The international bestseller, Fatal Storm – the story of the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race – is his most famous title, published in six languages and selling more than 200,000 copies. His two most recent books, ‘Bligh – Master Mariner’, and ‘Flinders, The Man Who Mapped Australia’, achieved No. 1 status across Australia within a few weeks of being released. ‘Bligh – Master Mariner’ has recently been released in the UK.
Mundle is now working on his 13th book, a fresh new look at the life of Captain James Cook, the world’s greatest maritime explorer, which will be available for Christmas 2013.