Tony Friend

 
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Some of you will remember me as the kid who used to bring the golden Labrador to school and have it sleep beside me in the classroom. I think it was second or third year. I guess I looked like that then. What a pity we all age.

After leaving NSBHS, I did Mech Eng at Sydney Uni 1962 -> 1965. I may be the only student to have completed a 4 year degree in minimum time without ever getting a Credit or Distinction (let alone a High Distinction) in ANY subject in ANY year. Talk about a controlled performance!

In my working life I worked for four computer companies, IBM (twice), Itel, Prime (twice, in Aus and USA) and my own (1986 to 2007). My company morphed from a software applications company to a networking company, to a web-based service listing over 3,000 aircraft for sale (ASO.com).

Forbes magazine did a "whole page" story on us in December 1997, and the photo with the planes buzzing around my head is from that article.

Unlike most dot.coms, we had the distinction of being consistently profitable, and thus survived the dot.com crash. We also managed to grow the business with no outside investment, which meant I was free to run the company however I wanted, which was very, very nice.

In January 2007 my company was sold to a company owned by a very large private equity company. I stayed on until the end of April 2007, completed the handover, got the final payment, then retired.

In the early 1980's I started and sold a Yacht Brokerage business on Sydney Harbour.

In 1972/73 I travelled by car with my first wife 55,000Km through Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, The Balkans and Greece. We spent 6 months in Austria, living and working in a restaurant on a ski slope.

I have been married twice, first to a tall blond Dutch girl and now, since 1983, to a beautiful black woman from Barbados. I left Sydney on the day we won the America's Cup in 1983 (I felt like a traitor), and have lived since then in Northern California (Marin County) in the town of San Rafael. That's about 15Km North of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and picturesque Sausalito (for those of you who know the San Francisco Bay Area).

I now spend most of the year in Northern California, with 3 months each year in Sydney and occasional trips to Barbados and Port Douglas. We also regularly spend two weeks each year fishing in Baja California on Mexico's Sea of Cortez. There is a saying that "When the sands of Baja get on your shoulder, you can never shake them off". We absolutely love it there, and the fishing is amazingly good. I also frequently fish in the ocean off San Francisco, where we get salmon and albacore tuna.

For many years I was very active skiing and competitively sailing, but the onset of a health problem in 1988 put an end to that.

For those interested in struggling through a badly incomplete web site, there is a bit more in our Friend Family Web Site.