Neil Rothwell – the passing of a gentleman


How can I sum up in few inadequate words the man who was was my business colleague and my closest friend. Neil was a quiet purposeful man, he never made a fuss, he sailed his radio boats competitively but fairly and he expected everyone else to do the same. He enjoyed radio sailing at all levels from International events to club sailing. He was part of radio sailing from its early beginnings, a former National champion and was always in the top end of the fleet. He was universally respected, he liked to do everything himself from building, fittings, sail making and he was extremely good at what ever he turned his hand too. He made his mark on model yachting and that will be his legacy to the sport he loved. His greatest success was with the RA design Argo in conjunction with designer John Lewis, it was the ‘must have’ boat of its era. His boats were always superbly presented with workmanship of the highest order and just as importantly they worked very effectively. 

As a person he was great fun to be with, a very dry wit, a sense of mischief and a ready twinkle in his eye. He was absolutely straight in all he did. Our time together with SmartWinch was punctuated with chuckles, we enjoyed ourselves, we got to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses and it worked for us. To say I will miss him is understating it for me, I feel his loss deeply. The business will continue but I will find it very difficult without him being around to discuss things with. The last few years have been hard for him and Laraine but he was determined not to let it get in the way, being at events like the Vane A National at Gosport which he loved. I find it difficult to add much more about a man whom I knew so well but I know our thoughts are with Laraine and the family, and our condolences go out to them.