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Hall of Fame, 2011

NSHOF-Class of 2011

Alison, Betsy - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Elizabeth "Betsy" Gelenitis Alison

Betsy Alison  

March 25, 1960 - 
Birthplace: Bayonne, New Jersey


“I've never been afraid to ask questions.”

Betsy Alison started sailing at age 7 because her father insisted. Grumpy at first, soon Betsy was singing with her pals as they slipped happily over Barnegat Bay. She was successful as a local sailor, but turning it into a life dream, or a profession, never occurred to her. Then in 1977 she found herself at Tufts University, which just happened to have the best sailing team in the country. When her father died during her freshman year, a friend persuaded her to go sailing on Upper Mystic Lake. For the first time Alison realized her natural aptitude for the sport.

Betsy AlisonA self-described seat-of-the-pants sailor, she learned the technical side from talented Tuft’s teammates. She credits numerous mentors, like Dave Perry who told her to buy a Laser, then told her how to sail it in heavy air: “pull everything tight and hike” (she did, winning her first, full-rig Laser regatta); her coach Joe Duplin, who pushed her to do more than she thought possible; and fellow collegians like Ken Read, Tommy Lihan, Morgan Riser, and Lynn Jewell Shore.

An Honorable Mention for All-American at Tufts in 1981, Alison has a unique ability to quickly apply what she learns. Ken Read told her how to sail a J-24 over lunch, after which she won the first of her five Women’s Keel Boat Championships.

Voted Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year a record five times, Alison says she never felt discriminated against on the water: “You have to prove yourself. When you get the job done on the race course, you develop respect.”

In 1998, Allison was asked to coach the USA team in the World Disabled Sailing Championship. Today she is the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Paralympic Coach.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

YouTube Video - Paralympic Sports Military Camp with Betsy Alison

August 2003 Interview - Scuttlebutt.com

Betsy Alison page on Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame

Interview - Sailing Anarchy

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Alter, Hobie - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Hobart "Hobie" Alter

Hobie Alter  

October 31, 1933 -  March 29, 2014
Birthplace: Ontario, California


“I didn't know anything about sailing so I wasn't confused by any past ideas. And the fact (catamarans) had speed...if you were a surfer, you wanted a little more thrilling thing.”

The beaches of Southern California have always been a breeding ground for new water toys, and for entrepreneurs in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops who knew how to make their visions into reality. The undisputed king of that enviable, sun-drenched subculture is Hobie Alter, who started shaping wooden surfboards in his father’s garage in Laguna Beach in 1950. A few years later he was producing lighter, foam-core fiberglass boards that became the standard. He opened his first surf board shop in 1958, establishing Hobie as a brand that is still a household word for surfers, and sailors.

Alter and his contemporaries were driven by the quest for new ways to have fun in the sun, ways that would keep them out of suits and office jobs. When Alter decided to design and build a catamaran in the late 1960s, his mission was accomplished. The first drawing was done in the sand. The Hobie 14 was easy to drag down the beach and through the surf, and fun to sail. The term “beach cat” was born. At $1000, the boat was an instant hit. The 14 was followed by the 16, then the 18. With its double trapeze and outboard racks or wings, the 18 is an active racing class. Today, there are 14 different Hobie Cat models sailing, more than 100,000 boats in all.

For Hobie Alter, sailing ranked with surfing, skiing, and motorcycle riding as a past time. Just to prove he wasn’t just a beach cat, in 1980 Alter spearheaded the design of the Hobie 33, a trailerable mono hull with a scant 8-foot beam (to make it road legal). It turned out to be a rocket. Between 1982 and 1986, 187 of the 33s were built.

Alter skied, and sailed the 60-foot catamaran he built, into his 70s.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

Video: The Hobie Cat Way of Life (click the Play button above)

"Hobie Alter: Founding father of the surfboard industry"  - Story in Fortune Magazine, January 16, 2014

"Fun in the Son: Shaping Hobie Alter" - Cover Story on Hobie Alter from Composites Fabrication Magazine, May, 2001 (PDF)

"Hobie Alter. He started out shaping surfboards. He ended up shaping a culture." From Hobie.com

Surfline.com - Hobie Alter Biography and Photos

Article in August 26, 1987 Los Angeles Times: "TOP CAT: Hobie Alter Created His Own Style of Sailing, but He's Still Trying to Build a Better Boat"

Wikipedia Page - Hobie Alter

USA Today obituary - Hobie Alter (March 31, 2014)

LA Times obituary - Hobie Alter (March 30, 2014)

Surfer Magazine tribute to Hobie Alter

Video Tribute to Hobie Alter - Encyclopedia of Surfing Videos (click on image above)

Tribute to Hobie Alter on Hobie.com

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Barr, Charlie - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Capt. Charles "Charlie" Barr

Charlie Barr  

1864 - January 25, 1911
Birthplace: Gourock, Scotland. Naturalized U.S. Citizen.


“You hired me to win this race and that is what I intend to do.”

It’s reported that Capt. Charlie Barr used to shoot the mooring after a day’s racing in both Columbia, the 137-footer in which he won the America’s Cup in 1899 and 1901, and the massive Reliance (201 feet tip to tip), in which he won again in 1903. Does it get any more consummately confident than that, bringing a huge sloop head to wind five or six boat lengths away – nearly a quarter of a mile with Reliance – calling upon the 64-man crew to lower the sails as the boat coasted for minutes toward its little buoy? What a way to celebrate a Cup victory, what a way to steal all the thunder and give an opposing skipper something to get stuck in his craw.

And Barr did nothing but celebrate. He won three Cups, never losing a race.

Barr knew the wind, the boat, and the tactics. He piled on sail, took calculated risks, and managed nervous crews with fearless leadership. His record set an all-time standard, as did his mastery of the myriad details it takes to win America’s Cups,  including intimidation. There were no apparent cracks in the tough Scotsman’s armor.

In 1905, Barr was hired as skipper of the 227-foot, 300 ton schooner Atlantic for the trans-Atlantic race proposed by Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II. Half way across, a gale hit the fleet. The big, powerful schooner drove through seas. Water ran ankle deep in the fancy staterooms below deck. Guests hung on for dear life. Atlantic’s owner, Wilson Marshall, berated Barr, demanded he heave-to. Lashed to the wheel, Barr told Marshall, “You hired me to win...” After Marshall went below, Barr called for more sail.

Atlantic won the race, setting a record that lasted nearly a hundred years.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

Feature Article: "Captain Charlie Barr, Premier of Yachting Skippers" from June 4, 1905 New York Times

New York Times Article Announcing Charlie Barr's Death, Jan. 25, 1911

Home Video - "Atlantic - The Legend of Captain Charlie Barr"

Herreshoff Marine Museum's America's Cup Hall of Fame - Charlie Barr Page

Wikipedia Page on Charlie Barr

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Cayard, Paul - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Paul Pierre Cayard

Paul Cayard  

May 19, 1959 - 
Birthplace: San Francisco, California


“I learned more about sailing on one leg of the Whitbread than I'd learned in the last ten years."

At age 8, Paul Cayard began sailing on San Francisco Bay and accumulating a case full of trophies when he wasn’t playing basketball. His natural talent, a fierce, competitive spirit, and strong work ethic attracted the attention of the late San Francisco legend, Tom Blackaller, who invited Cayard on board his Star boat as crew.

As a skipper, Cayard became known for his skill around the buoys beginning in 505s as a teenager. Moving on to Stars, his rise to prominence culminated with a Star World Championship in 1988. Prior to that, Blackaller had signed Cayard on his America’s Cup contender, Defender, in 1983 as a jib trimmer. Blackhaller promoted him to tactician and alternate helmsman for the 1987 campaign. Cayard would participate in five America’s Cups, two as helmsman in the finals, picking up another language (Italian) in the process.

He's also a two-time Olympian.

Cayard’s record in big boats is impressive, with six world championships in various classes, and a host of international, grand prix Cup wins. But Cayard the buoys’ racer surprised the sailing world in 1997/1998 when he skippered EF Language in the grueling Whitbread Round the World Race. Even more impressive, he became the first American ever to win it. He raced round the world again in 2005/2006 (the Volvo RTWR), finishing second after some perilous breakdowns at sea.

“Tacks, off watch,” Cayard said of round the world maneuvers after which sopping wet sails and gear had to be moved to the new weather side, “were like waking up, spending 20 minutes in the gym, then going back to sleep.” He smiles at the recollection. Currently Cayard races RC44s. and is CEO of Artemis Racing for America’s Cup XXXIII.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

Article in October, 1999 Sports Illustrated

"America's Cup Uncovered" - YouTube TV show featuring Paul Cayard on America's Cup World Series

June 28, 2004 Sailing World Magazine Interview

Profile on Paul Cayard's website

Paul Cayard Wikipedia page

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Conner, Dennis - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Dennis Walter Conner

Dennis Conner  

September 16, 1942 - 
Birthplace: San Diego, California


“Competition is life's blood, and I'm a vampire.”

Dennis Conner won four America’s Cups, counting the 1974 match when he was starting helmsman for skipper Ted Hood on Courageous.

That was Conner’s first Cup venture as a new kid from California entering an event dominated by East Coast tradition. He learned fast. Conner is credited with turning the Cup professional in 1980, paying crewmembers and practicing 300 days a year with a stable of three boats. Before retiring after the 2003 match, Conner would compete in 9 America’s Cup campaigns.

In 1983, Conner gained infamy for becoming the first American skipper to lose the Cup since the yacht America’s seminal victory in 1851. His well-documented struggle to win it back in the next cycle (Perth, Australia, 1987), is the stuff of legend. His face appeared on the covers of TIME and Sports Illustrated (with President Ronald Reagan). He became known as “Mr. America’s Cup.”

His defense of the rogue challenge presented by New Zealand’s 90-foot mono hull the following year with a catamaran, and the protracted legal wrangle that ensued, enhanced the fame of this controversial, ferocious competitor. One of Conner’s books is called, No Excuse to Lose. He once said, "There has never been any sportsmanship in the America's Cup. Anyone who thinks so is kidding himself." An article about Conner in LIFE magazine (September 1988) was titled, “Obsessed: Dennis Conner puts winning the Cup above friendship, religion, and sex.”

Dennis Conner has won 28 world championships, a bronze medal in the 1976 Olympics, and was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year three times.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

America's Cup Hall of Fame profile of Dennis Conner

Feb. 9, 1987 Article in TIME Magazine

Biography from Dennis Conner's website

Dennis Conner Wikipedia page

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Herreshoff, Nathanael - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Capt. Nathanael Greene Herreshoff

Nathanael Herreshoff  

March 18, 1848 - June 2, 1938
Birthplace: Bristol, Rhode Island


“There are only two colors to paint a boat - black or white. And only a fool would paint a boat black.”

There are few names in the yachting world that rival “Herreshoff” for recognition. This family of esteemed yacht designers began with “Captain Nat,” a naval architect and mechanical engineer (MIT, 1870) of the highest rank, an innovator who gave us sail tracks and slides, bulb and fin keels, hollow aluminum masts, and who was designing catamarans long before advances in materials technology made them practical. He built his boats upside down, with a mold for every frame, using the lightest possible materials. His influence on yacht design is unrivaled. His customers were the elite of the day.

Nat Herreshoff also had an artist’s eye for a yacht’s lines, producing scores of lovely, satisfying boats that are still being sailed and treasured, including the Twelve-and-a-halfs, the S-Boats, the Fish and E- Classes, and the Alerion. Many of his designs, the acclaimed New York 30 racer/cruiser in particular, had the uncanny gift of putting their rails down upwind, then accelerating in the puffs instead of being knocked down.

The grandest, most powerful creations that came out of Nat Herreshoff’s yard in Bristol, Rhode Island, successfully defended the America’s Cup six times: Vigilant, 1893, which he also steered; Defender, 1895; Columbia, 1899, 1901; Reliance, 1903; and Resolute, 1920. He sailed on all six boats.

A man of strong will and unshakable precepts, Herreshoff once designed and built a custom yacht for a man whose only requirement was that it had to be under a certain length to fit into his shed. The finished product was several inches too long.

- Roger Vaughan


"How Herreshoff Made Boats" - by his grandson, Halsey Herreshoff

Links of Interest:

America's Cup Hall of Fame Bio of Nathanael G. Herreshoff

Database of sailboat designs of Nathanael Herreshoff - sailboatdata.com

Cruiserlog discussion of Nathanael Herreshoff's catamaran, which he designed and built in 1876

Dec. 19, 906 New York Times article - Nathanial G. Herreshoff Better

Wikipedia page for Nathanael Herreshoff

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Hood, Ted - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Frederick Emmart "Ted" Hood

Ted Hood  

May 5, 1927 -  June 28, 2013
Birthplace: Beverly, Massachusetts


“When I was young, I thought if I can be a sail maker, make $12,000 a year, sail and work on boats, I'll be happy.”

For nearly 20 years, Ted Hood was the dominant force in sailing. The quiet man from Marblehead, Massachusetts, did it all. He wove the synthetic cloth, made the sails, innovated gear and systems, designed and built the boats, and steered them to a lion’s share of victories.

He was the first to weave Dacron to his own specifications. He innovated the grooved “foil” head stay, the dip-pole jibe, roller furling, and the Stoway mast. Hood Sails was, for a time, the world’s largest sail maker. As rival North Sails’ CEO Tom Whidden once said, “You could not teach a sail maker to see what Ted Hood saw.”

Hood also “saw” hull shapes and appendages. The series of boats named Robin that Hood designed and raced beginning in the late 1960s were as well-known for their unusual keels (and centerboards) and retractable rudders as for their string of victories. With Hood at the wheel, his Robins won Newport-Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax, and the Southern Circuit, among others.

Hood sailed the 12-meter Courageous that Olin Stephens designed for the 1974 America’s Cup. He made the sails for the boat, then as a last minute replacement helmsman, steered it to a 4-0 sweep of Australia’s Southern Cross. Hood designed two 12-meters of his own,  Nefertiti and Independence, in addition to 1,600 other designs. Hood is responsible for more than 6,000 boats that are still sailing.

Among Hood’s best known boats is American Promise, the 60-footer he designed and built for the late Dodge Morgan’s 150-day, 27,000-mile solo circumnavigation in 1985-86. Morgan said he needed three things to succeed: an iron will, luck, and a great boat. “And this,” Morgan said at voyage end, “is a great boat.”

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:


"His Genius Lives on in His Designs" - article by Jim Flannery in Trade Online, August 2013

"A Skipper From Scratch" - Mar. 27 1961 Sports Illustrated article

"Sailing To Victory With A Needle And Thread" - Feb. 10, 1964 Sports Illustrated article

Biographical profile with photos on tedhood.com

Sailboat designs of Ted Hood - on sailboatdata.com

Wikipedia page for Ted Hood

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Jobson, Gary - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Gary Alan Jobson

Gary Jobson  

July 17, 1950 - 
Birthplace: Hackensack, New Jersey


“What you learn is more important than how you finish.”

From a stellar college sailing career followed by an America’s Cup win in 1977, Gary Jobson has gone on to become the voice of sailing in the United States, President of US Sailing, and the pre-eminent global ambassador for the sport.

He started in his father’s cat boat on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, and later sailed  E-Scows and Lasers. Jobson had a knack, and he applied himself, keeping notebooks from the outset on race conditions and tactics that worked. At age 16, he was voted Barnegat Bay’s Outstanding Junior Sailor. At New York Maritime College, during a slump, Jobson took the words of his coach, Graham Hall, to heart: “You’re forgetting to have fun out there.” He went on to be a three-time All-American and two-time College Sailor of the Year.

The fun factor served Jobson well in 1977, when the irascible Ted Turner signed him on Courageous as tactician. Jobson’s calming influence in the cockpit was as important as his good calls in the course of winning America’s Cup XXIV. In 1978, he started Jobson Sailing, to promote the sport of sailing at all levels.

Jobson’s stint at ESPN in 1987 as the on-air analyst for Dennis Conner’s come-back, America’s Cup win in Perth, won him a Cable Ace Award, and launched his career in broadcasting. Jobson has produced 17 books on sailing, countless DVDs, and, most recently, his autobiography. In the last 35 years, the ubiquitous Jobson has given over 2400 lectures on the sport.

Jobson is National Chairman of the Leukemia Cup Regattas, events that he conceived. To date the regattas have raised $40 million. He continues to race his Etchells whenever he can find the time.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

Collection of Gary Jobson's video on World News

Gary Jobson on the Evolution of the America's Cup - National Geographic Adventure

Gary Jobson profile on jobsonsailing.com

Wikipedia page on Gary Jobson

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Melges, Buddy - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Harry C. "Buddy" Melges, Jr.

Buddy Melges  

January 26, 1930 - 
Birthplace: Zenda, Wisconsin


“The best helmsmen are the ones who can keep the most channels open.”


The little town of Zenda, Wisconsin (population: 100), is famous for two things: an eight pound meteorite that was once found there, and Buddy Melges, who has long been known as “The Wizard of Zenda.” From his home waters on nearby Lake Geneva, where he has been equally adept in both scows and ice boats, Melges has become one of the more successful and acclaimed racing skippers in the world. He has two Olympic medals; world championships in Stars (2), 5.5 Meters (3), E-Scows (5), and Skeeter Ice Boats (7); and an America’s Cup win as co-helmsman. He is a three-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Those are just the highlights of a stunning career on the water.

The gregarious, self-effacing Melges has attracted the world’s best sailors to Zenda to sail his beloved scows and be thrilled by 100 mph dashes across the frozen lake in the big ice boats, to hunt ducks (his other passion), and to discuss the shapes of hulls, sails, and appendages in colloquial turns of phrase that are all his own. He’ll often speak of the need to sail “a little bit quicklier.” On board, he discourages “chin music,” non race-related chatter.

Thanks to a reliable set of sound, basic observations, Melges is one of the few seat-of-the-pants skippers who flourished beyond sailing’s high tech revolution. “Instruments are great,” he once remarked, “but you have to look at the water, present the boat for Mother Nature.”

In 2010, at the age of 80, Melges won the A-Scow Inland Yachting Association Championship.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

"Super Sailor And A Soup Tureen" - Aug. 27, 1962 Sports Illustrated

Bio of Buddy Melges on Melges.com

"The Buddy Melges Story" - published in Starlights, Feb., 1983 (starclass.org)

Buddy Melges Wikipedia page"

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Mosbacher, Jr., Bus 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Emil "Bus" Mosbacher, Jr.

Bus Mosbacher  

April 1, 1922 - August 13, 1997
Birthplace: White Plains, New York


“Starts are of great importance... in a match race, perhaps 50%.”

It was no surprise to those who had raced with him when Bus Mosbacher joined the U.S. State Department as President Nixon’s Head of Protocol. Mosbacher was known to them as a master of decorum, a conspicuously modest man who never raised his voice even in rare moments of havoc. Some say Mosbacher was incapable of shouting. A perfectionist committed to the highest standards, Mosbacher’s habitual smile cloaked a will of steel that inspired his crew to meet his lofty expectations.

Junior Champion of Long Island Sound, Intercollegiate Champion at Dartmouth two years running, and his eight titles in International One Designs in as many years (1947 to 1955) – the IOD was the hot fleet of the day – were reasons enough for Sports Illustrated to label Mosbacher (in 1962) “the finest helmsman of our time.” In 1958, Mosbacher had steered the pre-war 12-meter Vim to a near win against the brand new Columbia in the defender trials. Mosbacher’s great starts, his work to windward, and the way he molded the crew into a cohesive unit presented a formidable challenge to Columbia. But it was impossible for the selection committee not to favor the new boat.

Mosbacher steered the slower Weatherly to a 4-1 win over the faster Gretel (AUS) in the America’s Cup of 1962, winning race 4 by only 26 seconds. He sailed Intrepid to a sweep over Dame Pattie (AUS) in the 1967 Cup.

“Yacht racing is a combination of chess and bridge,” Mosbacher once said, “with some physical ability thrown in…tactics, strategy, organization, details, and a happy association with nice people.”

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

"Yachting: The Intrepid Gentleman" - Aug. 18, 1967 Time Magazine

Aug. 18, 1967 Time Magazine Cover featuring Bus Mosbacher

"Smiling Wizard of the Cup" - Sept. 10, 1962 Sports Illustrated

Aug. 14, 1997 New York Times Obit on Emil Mosbacher

Emil Mosbacher Wikipedia page

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North, Lowell - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Lowell Orten North

Lowell North  

December 2, 1929 - 
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri


“In my wildest dreams I wouldn't have imagined where North Sails has gone.”

When Lowell North was 14, he re-cut the mainsail of his Star boat. A year later (1945), Malin Burnham, one of San Diego’s hottest sailors, asked the young North to crew for him in the World Championships. They won. “It wasn’t me Malin wanted,” North has said. “It was my mainsail.”

North went on to win four world’s championships as skipper in this elite class. Nearly as impressive, he finished second in the world’s five times. He brought home a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics, prompting Starlights, the Class magazine, to call him “the perfect Star sailor.” North had won another Olympic medal (bronze) in the Dragon class (1964). He was known for rigs so refined that occasionally something would let go. Shortly before one race, the main halyard parted. North and his crew, Peter Barrett, lowered the mast while on the water, threaded the mains’l into the groove, and raised it in time to make the start.

Obsessed by the shape of speed on the water, North applied his degree in engineering to sail making. He opened his first North Sails loft in San Diego in 1957. From the beginning, his was a scientific approach. He was among the very first sail makers to embrace computer modeling. He hired other champion sailors -- “Tigers,” he called them -- to demonstrate and sell his products. He figured anyone who could make a sailboat go fast could also be a good businessman.

Winning skipper Dennis Conner was the first to use North Sails in the America’s Cup in 1980. In 2007, North Sails 50th anniversary, eleven of the twelve syndicates entered in the America’s Cup wore sails by North.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

"The San Diego Bay Star Fleet: 1925 to the Present Day..." (Google Books)

Star Class website's profile of Lowell North

Video on history of North Sails - "50 Years of FAST"

Lowell North Wikipedia page

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| Print |

sailing-halloffamersarticle0Joe Ditler did a wonderful writeup of the 2011 Induction Ceremony for Sailing Magazine.

Click on the image or click here to read the article (PDF).

Reprinted here with permission from Sailing Magazine.


Sailing Magazine logo

Slocum, Joshua - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Joshua Slocum

joshua Slocum  

February 20, 1844 - Unknown
Birthplace: Mount Hanley, Nova Scotia.
Naturalized U.S. Citizen 1865 in San Francisco.


“To young men contemplating a voyage, I say go.”

It was Sailing Alone Around the World, Slocum’s third book (1899), that brought him the recognition he so deserved, that finally flung open the window on this quintessential mariner’s storied life. In his first book, The Voyage of the Liberdade (1890), Slocum relates how he was shipwrecked in South America, built a 35-foot junk, and sailed home with his family. His second book, The Voyage of the Destroyer (1893), is his story of delivering a warship to South America. Both would be forgotten if not for , which documents the first ever circumnavigation under sail -- a three-year, 45,000 mile odyssey – completed in a pudgy, old, 35-foot gaff-rigged work boat that Slocum rebuilt himself.

One of eleven children, a cobbler’s son from Nova Scotia whose formal education stopped at grade three, the impatient Slocum ran away from home at age 14 to become a cabin boy. By the time he was 18, he’d rounded Cape Horn twice, and passed his exam for a Second Mate’s certificate. After stints in salmon fishing and the fur trade, he was soon master of cargo vessels out of San Francisco – eight different ships in 13 years. When one of his ships dragged anchor and wrecked, Slocum’s valor and ingenuity in saving both crew and cargo earned him another vessel. An aspiring writer, he became a correspondent for the San Francisco Bee.

After his circumnavigation, Slocum tried to settle on Martha’s Vineyard, but he was rarely there. The pull of the sea was too strong. The National Geographic Society once ranked Slocum with Dr. David Livingston, Charles Lindbergh, and Sir Galahad as adventurers.

After leaving the Herreshoff yard in Bristol, R.I., on a voyage in 1908, Slocum disappeared at sea.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

"Around the World Alone" - Sports Illustrated article on Joshua Slocum

The Voyage of Joshua Slocum on Google Earth - Video on World News

Biography from Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

"The Voyage of the Liberdade" - on ibibio.com

Joshua Slocum Wikipedia page

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Stephens, Olin - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Olin James Stephens II

Olin Stephens  

April 13, 1908 - September 13, 2008
Birthplace: New York


“I was lucky; I had a goal. As far back as I can remember I wanted to design fast boats.”

Arguably the most famous yacht designer of the 1900s, it’s not just that Olin Stephens lived one hundred years, it’s that he was working, contributing to the sport he loved until the day he died. Olin Stephens’ mind was always open. He never allowed himself to stop learning.

As an apprentice naval architect at age 19, Stephens cut his teeth on the design of the elegant 6-meters that were in vogue. But the “radical” 52-foot yawl, Dorade, Stephens designed in 1930, was the portent of things to come. Without computer analysis or tank testing, Stephens relied on instincts and intuitive judgments to design the slim, light and lovely Dorade. When Stephens won the 1931 Trans-Atlantic race with Dorade by four days (corrected time), any doubters were silenced. New York gave Stephens a ticker tape parade. Yacht design would never be the same.

Stephens’ began his America’s Cup career with the co-design (with Starling Burgess) of the J-Class Ranger in 1937, and ended it with Freedom, the last 12-meter to successfully defend the Cup (1980). Like Nat Herreshoff, Stephens has six winning America’s Cup designs to his credit (Intrepid and Courageous twice).

Stephens boats were not only fast in their day, picking up silverware wherever they raced, but a treat for the eyes. He believed attractive boats were also faster. Many make the list of all-time classics: Stormy Weather, Bolero, Gesture, Finisterre, Brilliant, Dyna, Mustang, Tenacious (Dora)….  Then there are his Blue Jays, Lightnings, and Interclub dinghies.

“I was lucky,” Olin Stephens wrote in his autobiography, All This and Sailing Too. “I had a goal. As far back as I can remember I wanted to design fast boats.”

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

Profile of Olin Stephens by John Rousmaniere - from New York Yacht Club

YouTube video on Olin Stephens - from Mystic Seaport

"Olin Stephens: The Man, The Myth, The Legend" - Investors Daily article on ScuttlebuttSailing.com

Database of Sparkman & Stephens designs on sailboatdata.com

New York Times Article on Olin Stephen's death

Olin Stephens Wikipedia page

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The Class of 2011


Hall of Fame

Betsy Alison
Betsy Alison

Hobie AlterHobie Alter

Charlie BarrCharlie Barr

Paul Cayard
Paul Cayard

Dennis Conner
Nathanael Herreshoff Nathanael Herreshoff Ted Hood
Ted Hood

Gary Jobson Gary Jobson

Buddy Melges Buddy Melges

Bus Mosbacher Bus
Lowell North Lowell North

Joshua Slocum Joshua Slocum

Olin Stephens Olin Stephens

Ted Turner Ted Turner

Harold Vanderbilt Harold

Click here to view all 2011 Inductees on one page.

2011 National Sailing Hall of Famers at Induction 2011, San Diego Yacht Club

The first class of inductees were recognized on October 23, 2011 in ceremonies held at the San Diego Yacht Club in California. Here are some links to see photos of the occasion:


PHOTOS - Visit NSHOF's Flickr Photostream in a new window

PHOTOS - Visit NSHOF Facebook Photos Page in a new window

PHOTOS - Visit Scuttlebutt's Facebook Photos Page in a new window

PHOTOS - Visit San Diego Yacht Club's Flickr Photostream in a new window

VIDEO - Salute to the Class of 2011
Plus "A Tribute to Walter Cronkite" & Interviews

Highlights from the 2011 National Sailing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the San Diego Yacht Club, followed by a tribute to Walter Cronkite - for whom this year's Induction was dedicated. Also includes interviews with some of the 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

VIDEO - KUSI-TV News Story:


ARTICLE - Read coverage of the Induction in a Sailing Magazine article



Click here to read the bylaws and selection criteria used for the Class of 2011.

Turner, Ted - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Robert Edward "Ted" Turner

Ted Turner


November 19, 1938 - 
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio


“I lose my self-restraint and just get up and dance sometimes.”

As a 12 year-old at the Savannah Yacht Club, Turner dove into sailing the same way he would do everything, with pedal to the metal and damn the torpedoes, and with wholesale success. He spent as much time in the water as in his Penguin, but while observers were busy laughing he started winning. He took the same approach to Lightnings, then dinghies at Brown University before moving on to Y-Flyers and Flying Dutchmen on Atlanta’s Lake Allatoona. He would win the FD World’s in 1965, the 5.5 meter Gold Cup in 1970.

Turner moved into big boats with charters for the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, literally learning the ropes as he went along. He learned fast, winning the SORC overall in 1966, and leading a timber-rattling après sail crew celebration that was considered “outrageous.”

Turner’s venture into the America’s Cup in the 1970s shook up what was (then) a venerable bastion of propriety. His public battles with Dennis Conner, Lowell North, and local clubs are storied. He was labeled “Captain Outrageous” by a media overjoyed to have an uninhibited rock star in their midst who spoke his mind. Turner acquired Courageous after its Cup victory in 1974. Always loyal, he put together a crew of old SORC hands including tactician Gary Jobson and trimmer Robbie Doyle, and made the cover of Sports Illustrated after winning the right to defend the Cup. In 1977, Turner steered Courageous to a 4-0 sweep of Australia.

Turner won the coveted Congressional Cup that same year, and prevailed in the storm-ravaged Fastnet Race in 1979. The only man Voted Rolex Yachtsman of the Year four times, Ted Turner will probably be the last amateur skipper to win the America’s Cup.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

32nd America's Cup Encylopedia page on Tenacious

Sports illustrated Cover, July 4, 1977 featuring Ted Turner

Ted Turner's page on Academy of Achievement

April 24, 2002 article on Ted Turner in Sailing World Magazine

Ted Turner Wikipedia page

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Vanderbilt, Harold - 2011 Hall of Fame | Print |


Harold Stirling "Mike" Vanderbilt

Harold Vanderbilt  

July 6, 1884 - July 4, 1970
Birthplace: Oakdale, New York


“Henceforth (with the J-class) we will take tiny steps. Such is the history of things associated with mechanics as they approach the perfection man is capable of bestowing.”


Railroad tycoon, champion contract bridge player (a game he invented), yachtsman, author, and licensed pilot, Harold “Mike” Vanderbilt steered three J-Class sloops to America’s Cup wins in the 1930s. Vanderbilt sailed from birth on his father’s yachts, becoming a proficient helmsman and tactician. From 1922 to 1938, he won six King’s Cups and five Astor Cups.

At the helm of Enterprise in 1930, Vanderbilt defeated Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock V, four races to nil. In 1934, Britain’s Endeavour, commissioned by aircraft magnate T.O.M. Sopwith, was loaded with innovations, including a quadrilateral jib. In a best of seven series, the faster navy (Endeavour) blue yacht won the first two races against Vanderbilt’s Rainbow. With assists from the British crew that was striking for higher pay, a hastily made quadrilateral jib of his own, and tactician Sherman Hoyt, Vanderbilt took four in a row to win the Cup.  Three years later, Vanderbilt skippered the “super” J-Class Ranger to a 4-0 Cup win over Endeavour II. During that series Vanderbilt’s wife, Gertude, called the time at the start, thereby becoming the first woman to race on a Cup defender.

A year later, Vanderbilt and two associates began a complete re-write of the racing rules of sailing. Their new version of the rules was not approved until 1938. Vanderbilt continued to fine tune them with various committees of the International Yacht Racing Union (now ISAF), until they were adopted in 1960.

- Roger Vaughan

Links of Interest:

"Ranger v. Endeavor II" - July, 1937 Time Magazine article

"Rich Men's Yachts Race Again for Old Cup" Aug. 2, 1937 LIFE Magazine article (Google Books)

Harold Sterling Vanderbilt Wikipedia page

Wikipedia page for J-class yacht Ranger

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