David Bowker joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a volunteer reserve in 1943. He obtained his pilot’s qualified service certificate in 1949. Flying was not to become his chosen profession, however, because he was a master boat-builder at the time and was a director of Burne’s Shipyard in Old Bosham, Sussex, a business established in 1939.
Bowker was also a keen sailor and raced his own Dragon class yacht Scampi on the Solent with older brother Robin, one of the co-owners. The two siblings were also regular competitors individually at Cowes Week, and in 1953 Robin won the 6-metre cup while David finished second in the Dragon class race, with the Duke of Edinburgh behind him in third place.
Bowker was in charge of looking after the Great Britain yachts being used for the 1956 Olympic Regatta, including Bluebottle owned by the Duke of Edinburgh, for which Bowker was a stand-by crew member. He was actually a member of 4-man crew aboard the silver medal-winning yacht Vision in the 5.5 metre class. Bowker designed the craft for owner Robert Perry. Bowker and his oldest brother Clive were both vintage car fanatics and regularly too part in rallies in the south of England.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1956 Summer Olympics||Sailing||GBR||David Bowker|
|5.5 metres, Open (Olympic)||Vision||2||Silver|