Peter Blake, New Zealand icon, renowned New Zealand yachtsman and conservationist, grew up with the sea as his playground; the experience gained in childhood dinghy-sailing translated into successful ocean-going competitive sailing. His meticulous planning and preparation and his engaging leadership style (his trademark red socks helped capture the New Zealand public’s affection) led to numerous victories, international records and adulation at home. Peter Blake’s contribution was recognised by the New Zealand honours system. After retiring from competitive sailing, he poured his energies into creating public awareness of water conservation issues. He headed the Cousteau Society’s expeditions, led his own organisation Blakexpeditions and was nominated a United Nations Environment Special Envoy in 2001. After his tragic death that year at the hands of Amazon pirates, the International Olympic Committee posthumously awarded him the Olympic Order, one of its highest honours.
© 2016 The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Trust