This month, I’m writing about Red Socks Day. No, this is not related to the Boston Red Sox baseball team. This is Red Socks Day in New Zealand, and it is related to the late Sir Peter Blake.
Sir Peter Blake was a New Zealand-born yachtsman. In 1991 he was conferred an OBE, and in 1995 he was knighted for his services to yachting. He is most famous for leading Team New Zealand to victory in the America’s Cup yacht race. He led the team to victory in 1995, and again in 2000, becoming the first non-American team to successfully defend the title. He also set the fastest time for sailing non-stop circumnavigating the world.
After Sir Peter retired from competitive sailing, he focused on the environment and looking after the earth’s waterways. In December 2001, he was shot and killed by pirates in Brazil while on an expedition to examine the effects of global warming and pollution on rivers in South America.
Sir Peter Blake was known for his red socks. In 1995, his wife gave him a pair of red socks, and they became his lucky red socks. Every time he wore the red socks, he won his race, and when he didn’t wear the red socks, he lost his race.
Today, red socks are a tribute to Sir Peter Blake. On the 8th of July this year, it is Red Socks Day in New Zealand, and this year marks the 21st anniversary of Red Socks Day. People are encouraged to buy and wear a pair of red socks. On this day, Kiwis wear red socks to remember Sir Peter Blake, to celebrate the success of a small country, and to support the work of the Sir Peter Blake Trust. The Trust was set up in 2004 to honour Sir Peter’s leadership and love for the environment. The Trust works to inspire and motivate young Kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists to dream big. You can buy an official pair of red socks here.
To find out more about the work of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, go here.