Deceased , Modern





“A planner who leaves little to chance”

From 1930 to 1975, Bill Cox, the 1966 Yachtsman of the Year, won multiple trophies, awards, and accolades in yacht racing in the United States. A leader of his collegiate sailing team (Princeton, ’35), where he and his team won the McMillan Cup, he was instrumental in aiding and advancing the formation of an expanded ICYRA (Inter-Collegiate Yacht Racing Association). Along with George O’Day (Harvard) and Harry Anderson (Yale) he also helped develop the ICYRA team race rules in the 1940’s, which were the forerunners of the NAYRU (now US Sailing) and International Yacht Racing Union (later ISF) team race rules.


  • 1970, inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame (Princeton ’35)
  • 1935, selected as ICYRA President
  • 1966 Yachtsman of the Year
  • In 1966  New York Times reported that he had won the Hipkins Trophy for Men’s Championship on Long Island Sound a remarkable five times
  • A leading match-racer, Mr. Cox skippered the 12-Meter yacht American Eagle in the 1964 America’s Cup defender trials, and was runner-up to Constellation, the successful defender.
  • According to his nominator, he was the only skipper to win three different swap-boat championships — in which competitors race in identical boats provided by race organizers — of the United States Yacht Racing Union:

o Sears Cup for the National  Junior Championship (1930)

o Mallory Cup for the National Men’s Championship (1966)

o Prince of Wales Bowl for the National Match Racing Championship (1974)



  • 1974 received Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for “Outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in North America.” Some of his contributions included the Cox-Sprague Scoring System and his involvement in Safety-at-Sea with an upgraded design of life jackets.
  • With Bob Harris, Mr. Cox co-designed a breakthrough modern catamaran, the 16’11” Tigercat, which won the 1959 Yachting One-of-a-Kind Regatta, and was built by Lippincott and Pearson Yachts to become the first one-design catamaran class in the US, selling some 160 boats between 1960 and 1963 (predating the Hobie Cat by 8 years).


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