Aurelio and Janet Fernandez
Lage with Nigel Rowe in La Coruna in 2002 when Aurelio pledged support for the
newly formed STI
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Aurelio Fernandez Lage in La Coruña on Wednesday 19th December, on his 70th birthday.
Aurelio was responsible for introducing the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races to La Coruña in 1990 and as Project Manager he managed to get the races back another four times in 1994, 2002, 2006 and this year 2012. Aurelio was delighted that La Coruna had been selected yet again to host the races again in 2016.
Aurelio was the President of the Real Club Nautico of La Coruña for fourteen years and used his influence with the club and with the city to ensure that La Coruña became a very special port for our races. La Coruña was awarded the Sail Training International Port Trophy in 2002 in recognition of Aurelio's outstanding leadership and the success of the visit that year for the ships and young crews that took part in the race. The trophy was presented to the best Port of a Sail Training International event that had done most during the year to promote the interest of sail training for young people...something very close to Aurelio's heart.
Aurelio was always interested in the possibilities of developing sail training opportunities for the young people in Spain and succeeded in finding a sea going yacht to form the Association "Juan de Langara" in 1999 with an enthusiastic team who had been involved as liaison officers in the previous tall ships race visits to La Coruña. Juan de Langara is a huge success and a testimony to Aurelio's enthusiasm and determination to form a sail training organisation in Spain. She has taken part in almost every Tall Ships Race in the 12 years that Aurelio was chairman. He was delighted when he discovered the level of affection for the organisation that he had formed when, in 2006, the international fleet voted for Juan de Langara to receive the 'International Friendship Trophy'.
Aurelio was a great supporter of Sail Training International from our very beginning and he, along his wife Janet and their children (now very much grown up) Alex and Aurelio jnr, were always at the forefront of events in La Coruña and on the races. Sail Training International was delighted at our 2012 conference in Riga to award Aurelio the Janka Bielak Medal in recognition of an outstanding contribution to international friendship and understanding through sail training. We think that this says it all and we are only sorry that he did not live for long enough after the event to appreciate how much our small sail training family appreciated all that he did for our cause.
We offer Janet, Alexandra and Aurelio our sincere condolences on their loss. RIP Aurelio.