Deceased , Modern




1930 - 2021

Conn Francis Findlay, considered by many who have sailed with him to be essential to a winning program, is a four-time Olympic medalist and is one of the few competitors to medal in two distinct sports (Rowing and Sailing). He was the consummate level-headed competitor- when Ted Turner wanted to win the America’s Cup, Conn was one of his first choices for support. When Dennis Connor wanted to win an Olympic medal, he chose Conn as his crew in the Tempest.

At the 1976 Summer Olympics sailing events, Findlay crewed for Dennis Conner to win a Bronze medal in the Tempest two-man keelboat class. Findlay, as a crew leader, was also part of the winning America’s Cup sailing teams in 1974 (Courageous, Ted Hood) and 1977 (Courageous, Ted Turner). From 1974 to 1986 he was an essential member of the team on the winning Maxi Ocean Racer, Windward Passage.

According to Conn’s nominator and Hall of Fame inductee Robbie Doyle, no matter what program he was in, “Conn was the glue that held everyone together. An example would be when he worked with the grinders – he helped them to be more competitive, not just physically, but in their techniques – switching positions, working to each other’s strengths – and everyone’s mental attitudes. He always kept it positive, he didn’t dwell on the negative. When things would get crazy, he would quietly come up with solutions. He never brought his ego to the boat; he could get the best out everyone, no matter how dire the circumstances.”

A Partial List of Honors and Accomplishments – Sailing Related*

  • 1982 to 1984 sailed SORC aboard Windward Passage, including for her record setting St. Pete to Lauderdale record setting race. Winner of 1984 SORC.
  • 1982 Clipper Cup Series in New York
  • 1977 America’s Cup Courageous, with Ted Turner
  • 1976 Olympics (Sailing) Bronze with Dennis Conner
  • 1975 Sydney Hobart Race in their classic 600-mile match race. Both boats broke the race record by many hours.
  • 1975 Trans-Atlantic Race aboard first to finish Kialoa.
  • 1974 Crew member on 12 M Mariner in America’s Cup Trials.
  • 1974 America’s Cup Courageous, with Ted Hood
  • 1971 aboard Windward Passage record setting passage in the Miami to Jamaica Race. This record stood for 45 years or so.
  • 1970 Helped build and commission 12 M Heritage and sailed as crew member.


*Not sailing-related, but he has also earned many honors in the sport of Rowing in the United States, including two Olympic medals and being named US Rowing’s “Man of the Year” in 2007

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