Richard "Dick" Rose

May 19, 1938 -

Port Washington, NY

Dick Rose grew up sailing dinghies on Manhasset Bay, Long Island. He was accepted to attend Princeton University and led his team to a second place finish in the Intercollegiate National Championship his senior year in 1960. As a 24-year-old sailor he won the Long Island Sound Frostbite Championship hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club in 1963. The victory was written up in the New York Times. Rose represented the Port Washington Penguin fleet. The victory was an upset over the second place finisher that year, another Hall of Fame sailor, Arthur Knapp, Jr. who was also a Princeton alumnus (1928). Rose was President of the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association while he was a college student (1959-1960). Rose was one of the first top sailors to embrace the new Laser Class when it first appeared in 1971. He was a standout in several classes including Penguins, Lightnings, Snipes, International 14s, and Lasers. He married Carolle Spooner, an accomplished Canadian sailor, in 1988. After Princeton he went on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Being a competitive sailor he studied the yacht racing rules closely. Today, Rose is considered to be “the” international authority on the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Rose is a thirty-year member of World Sailing’s Racing Rules of Sailing Committee. The committee updates the rules every four years. As boat designs change and race formats evolve it is essential that the Racing Rules be updated. Every word in the text is carefully scrutinized before being published by World Sailing. The sport of sailing relies heavily on carefully defined rules. The Racing Rules of Sailing are published every four years after each Olympic Games. The World Sailing Council debates every proposed change. This process puts considerable pressure on the rules committee. Dick Rose understands why changes need to be made and passionately argues on behalf of the committee. As a result, Dick Rose has become the highly respected author of the Racing Rules of Sailing. For his work he has been awarded the Nathanael Greene Herreshoff Trophy, considered US Sailing’s highest honor (2012). He has served as the US Olympic Sailing Team rules advisor (1984, 1988, 1992). He has given countless presentations about the racing rules, and he wrote a monthly column in Sailing World magazine to help readers understand the rules (1984-2019) and wrote the ‘One Design Racing’ column for Yachting magazine (1967-1980).

Between 2012 and 2016 I was on the Board of World Sailing. One of my assigned duties was serving as liaison between the Racing Rules Committee and the Board. I attended the committee meetings and watched Dick Rose and the other committee members consider changes. Rose listened carefully to each proposal. When the presentation was finished everyone in the room would look over at Rose for his assessment. His first reaction was to ask questions. He never declared that a proposed rule change was out of line. His queries would spark fascinating conversations. Rose explained that part of the committee’s mission was to make the rules easier for sailors to understand. He would patiently prod his colleagues to justify their ideas. After considerable debate the committee would agree to make an edit or a change to an existing rule and, if warranted, even create a new rule. In each case, Dick Rose would have a hand in the wording of the new text or rule. ~Gary Jobson

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame