Sally Lindsay Honey

March 31, 1944 -

Urbana, Illinois

Sally Lindsay Honey has enjoyed a long and productive career as a racing sailor and contributor to sailing.  She was twice named Rolex’s Yachtswoman of the Year in 1973 and 1974. Most recently, she and her husband, Stan Honey, (2012 Hall of Fame Inductee) won the prestigious St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for winning the 2022 Newport to Bermuda Race on corrected time with their 56-year-old Cal 40, Illusion.  It was an inspiring victory on their renovated classic 40-footer that was at one time co-owned by Bus Mosbacher and Vincent Monte Sano. The key to winning was meticulous preparation, fast sailing, and brilliant navigation.

Sally has extensive offshore racing experience on both coasts and in the Great Lakes with podium finishes at virtually every major event.  One of her groundbreaking achievements was leading an all-women’s crew in the Transpacific Race in 2005. She won the North American Women’s Championship for the Adams Cup three times — in 1972, 1975 and 1979 (as crew).  For two decades she raced Thistles, Fireballs, 470s and Dragons, and campaigned a 505 internationally. Her list of victories in one-design classes would fill a phone book.

When asked how she made the transition from racing a 505 to sailing offshore she says, “The psychological aspects are transferable, even though the specifics of the boats are different.  One time, we were in a squall on the Cal 40.  The spinnaker was up and there were just two of us on the boat.  I called Stan to come up because I needed help.  It was too windy to go on the foredeck, so we just kept sailing fast until the squall passed by.  After the squall left there was no wind for the next four hours.”   Sally has more than 40,000 miles of offshore cruising on a resume that includes transatlantic passages and north-to-south long-distance voyages.

Sally Lindsay was born in Urbana, Illinois and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in anthropology in 1967.  She later earned a Master’s in literature at Stanford University and studied advanced meteorology at the Maritime Institute of Technology in Seattle, Washington.  Her education, racing prowess and long-distance passage making experience have contributed greatly to her work on Safety at Sea.  Honey is the author of US Sailing’s “Safety at Sea, A Guide to Safety Under Sail and Personal Survival.”  She has been chair of several independent review panels studying calamities at sea.  She has served on World Sailing’s Offshore Special Regulations Committee for many years, sitting currently as Chairperson.

Off the water and beyond her important work in Safety at Sea, she has contributed to the sport as a sailmaker and marine canvas designer/maker.  In addition, she created the SailMail Association, a non-profit that provides more than 3,000 yacht owners with an efficient worldwide email system via its network of SSB-Pactor radio stations and several satellite communications systems.  Sally Honey has had a vibrant career on and off the water. Her results speak for themselves, and her diligent work has made the sport safer and by extension, more fun.

  Gary Jobson

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