by Jan Harley
National Sailing Hall of Fame logo
National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame Annapolis, Md.
Catching up to 200 years of sailing history in the U.S.A., the National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the 15 sailors who will make up the historic first-ever class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
Over a two-month period this spring, sailors from all corners of the country – including a U.S. Senator and the mayor of a major metropolitan city – nominated their choice for induction into the sport’s Hall of Fame, some even going so far as to consult noted sailing historian John Rousmaniere for accuracy in putting together their submissions.
Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. in categories of Sailing, Technical and Contributor. Nominations of non-citizens were also considered if they influenced the sport in the U.S., and posthumous nominations were also accepted.
The undertaking to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing is central to the mission of the NSHOF which was formed in 2005 and has completed phase one of its plan to establish a permanent facility on the historic waterfront of Annapolis, Maryland. The selection committee, appointed by the NSHOF, included representatives from the NSHOF Board, the national governing body, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum and NSHOF founding yacht clubs.
Emphasizing the national scope of the NSHOF, this historic first group of inductees will be honored on October 23, 2011, during an invitation-only ceremony scheduled to take place at San Diego Yacht Club in California.
National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees : US Sailing Disabled Sailing Team Coach and five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.); surfboard industry pioneer Hobie Alter (California); 1998 Whitbread Round the World Race winning skipper Paul Cayard (Kentfield, California); four-time America’s Cup winning skipper Dennis Conner (San Diego, Calif.); naval architect and America’s Cup winning skipper Ted Hood (Portsmouth, R.I.); sailor, author and Emmy-award winning sailing commentator Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.); 1972 Soling Olympic Gold Medalist Buddy Melges (Zenda, Wisc.); 1968 Star Olympic Gold Medalist and founder of North Sails Lowell North (San Diego, Calif.); and America’s Cup winning helmsman and four-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ted Turner (Atlanta, Ga.).
National Sailing Hall of Fame Posthumous Inductees: Transatlantic Race record setter Capt. Charles 'Charlie' Barr (Marblehead, Mass.); naval architect Capt. Nathanael G. Herreshoff (Bristol, R.I.); two-time America’s Cup winning skipper Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, Jr. (Greenwich, Conn.); the first-ever singlehanded circumnavigator and noted writer Joshua Slocum (San Francisco, Calif.); yacht designer Olin Stephens (Hanover, N.H.); and three-time America’s Cup winning skipper Harold S. Vanderbilt (New York, N.Y.).
'After years of planning, we are so pleased that the heroes of our sport are getting their long-overdue recognition,' said Dick Franyo, President of the NSHOF. 'The National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame will be a place to honor these heroes and provide inspiration for all sailors – young and old.'
The next group of NSHOF inductees will be announced in July 2012, and through 2013 the number of inductees will not exceed 15. Beginning in 2014, the Selection Committee will induct a maximum of five sailors each year. For more on the individual accomplishments of the 2011 Inductees, click here.
2011 National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees (alphabetical list):
Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.)
Hobie Alter (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Capt. Charles 'Charlie' Barr (Marblehead, Mass.)
Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.)
Dennis Conner (San Diego, Calif.)
Capt. Nathanael G. Herreshoff (Bristol, R.I.)
Ted Hood (Portsmouth, R.I.)
Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.)
Buddy Melges (Zenda, Wisc.)
Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, Jr. (Greenwich, Conn.)
Lowell North (San Diego, Calif.)
Ted Turner (Atlanta, Ga.)
Joshua Slocum (San Francisco, Calif.)
Olin Stephens (Hanover, N.H.)
Harold S. Vanderbilt (New York, N.Y.)
National Sailing Hall of Fame website