Gromit, the sailing dog, has passed away, companion Steve Bourne said. “My dearest dog died in her sleep.”
Part German shepherd and part Hong Kong pedigree, Gromit sailed with the Bourne family for 14 years. She hardly missed a race until allowed to put her feet up last year because of advancing age. In human terms she was about 110.
The Bournes were given Gromit when she was one year old by a tearful woman from Lamma who was leaving the next day. “Gromit took to sailing at the first try,” Jade Bourne, Steve’s daughter, said. She quickly learned sailing instructions such as “tack” and “gybe”, scampering to safe dry places on the Magic 25 Merlin.
After the Bournes moved to Sai Kung she became a familiar sight in Hebe Haven waters braced on the heeling boat, sniffing the breeze. She was the mascot of Team Gromit at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club 24-hour race. Kids badgered parents to support Gromit racing out there on the sea and $8000 was raised.
What most people didn’t know was that Gromit hated water, loathed the horrible stuff. “Bathing, swimming were no-nos,” Jade said. Once a sailor accidentally elbowed Gromit into the sea. The Bournes swear she walked on the awful wetness back to the boat.
Steve said SAI KUNG BUZZ’s recent article about Gromit was timely. “Facebook news on Gromit was viewed 7000 times,” he said. “I think that says it all… one hell of a dog.”