Deceased , Historic



"God"...father of sailing in Hawai'i"

1909 - 2006

Cy Gillette, a US and International Judge and Umpire, and a recipient of the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy in 1995, was extremely active in his efforts to promote and improve the sport of sailing for sailors of all boats – from dinghies to maxis.

Honors and Accomplishments:

  • 1995, recipient, Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy
  • 1976, Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Hall of Fame (ICSA, Meritorious Serivce)
  • Board of Directors, Trans Pacific YC
  • First commodore of the Hawai`i Yacht Racing Association (HYRA), when it was formed in 1966
  • One of the first members of the US SAILING judges committee
  • Regional administrative judge for Area H-W from the beginning of that program until 1991
  • Area H member of the board of directors of US SAILING for many years, rotating every three years with the representative from area H-E
  • Gillette was one of the originators of the umpiring program that was first tested with the International Class A Yachting Association (Maxis) in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985, and assisted in establishing the International Yacht Racing Union’s (IYRU) umpiring program.
  • As an International Yacht Racing Union judge, Gillette assisted in establishing the union’s first on-the-water umpiring program in the late 1980s. Became a strong advocate of such umpiring at the America’s Cup Races in San Diego in 1992 and was the chief umpire and jury chair in that year’s defender selection series.
  • IYRU judge and umpire since the origination of both of the above programs and has been involved in numerous America’s Cup programs in both capacities.
  • Dennis Conner’s senior rules advisor during his 1987 and 1995 America’s Cup campaigns.


After posting Gillette’s obituary in Sail World, the editor added the following: 

Editor’s Note: Cy Gillette – he was a lovely guy – I did an international umpires’ seminar in Long Beach with him in ’91, and worked with him a couple of times in the Steinlager Cup as it then was before that in NZL.

He was always very easy to get on with and had time for everyone involved in sailing no matter how big or small. Although relatively small in stature, Cy was larger than life, and one of those people who always stick in your mind, and who you know will always be the same, and think the same, no matter how old they are.

When we used to umpire back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there were no RIBs, and we used large launches or substantial powerboats and did our best.

[searchandfilter id="7549"]

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame