“He has titles across Cherub, dinghy, sailboards and skiff classes, has competed in the Olympic Games, campaigned for the Paralympic Games and won the famed bluewater Sydney to Mooloolaba and Sydney to Hobart yacht races. His sailing career is truly inspirational.”
Greg Hyde (born 1962) has early success in windsurfing and he won three world championships and represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. In yacht racing, Greg helmed yachts that won the Sydney to Mooloolaba race in 1985 and the Sydney to Hobart race in 1993. In 16-foot skiffs he won back-to-back National titles in 1995 and 1996. After surviving a severe, rare form of encephalitis later that year, Greg developed epilepsy and experienced subsequent strokes. Hyde campaigned for the London Paralympics in a bid to represent Australia at both forms of the Games. He won a gold medal at the 2009 Masters World Games in the Access 303 class (for sailors +45 years) and the World Championships in 2012.
Born in 1962, Greg grew up in a sailing family on Sydney’s northern beaches. In 1977 he turned to competitive sailing. In his first year sailing Cherubs, he dominated that year’s national titles in Brisbane with crewmate Bruce Painter. In the same year, 15-year-old Greg picked up a windsurfer for the first time. Within a year he placed 4th at the World Windsurfer Championships behind the only board-sailor in the World Hall of Fame, Robby Naish.
Over the next 10 years ‘Hydie’ as he was known, dominated the class locally, went to the Olympic Games and won three world championships. He was Australia’s pre-eminent board-sailor when windsurfing began to captivate public interest. With only 12 months experience on the Windglider, (the European board design chosen for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics) he won major events in Europe and finished sixth in Los Angeles, winning the last race.
In the early 1990s, Greg turned his attention to yacht and skiff racing and in 1985 helmed the Flying Circus to win the Sydney to Mooloolaba race. In 1988 Greg came second in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, which he subsequently won in 1993 at the helm of Cuckoo’s Nest. As skipper of OTIS in 1995 and 1996, Hyde won back-to-back national 16-foot skiff titles and became the first in the history of the class to win every heat of the national championships with a perfect zero point score.
In 1996 Greg only just survived a rare and usually fatal form of encephalitis that left him in a coma for several weeks. He learned to walk, talk and read again. A year later he was back in the water sailing again and came sixth at the 16-foot skiff National Championships before experiencing further strokes.
Hyde then turned to the Access and 2.4m classes and campaigned for the 2012 London Paralympics in a bid to represent Australia at both forms of the Games. He won a gold medal at the 2009 Masters World Games in the Access 303 class (for 45+ years) and the Access World Championship in 2012.