Deceased , Modern

Gilbert

Gray

19021981

Gilbert Gray was the first U.S. Olympic gold medalist in sailing and is recognized as one of Southern Yacht Club’s (SYC) sailing greats.

 

Gray began yacht racing competition in the International Star Class crewing for Prentice Edrington Jr., winning the Bacardi Cup in the 1927 Midwinter Star Series in Havana, Cuba.

n 1928, they won the International Star Class Championship in Balboa, California, thus earning for Southern Yacht Club the privilege to host the 1929 Championship. In that same year, Sir Thomas J. Lipton gave the club a handsome trophy to be sailed for by the Star class. In 1928, during the first sailing for this trophy, Edrington, with Gray crewing, sailed Sparkler II to victory. Edrington then turned the tiller over to Gray to skipper in the 1929 Championship in which they finished second.

Gray, with Andrew Libano, Jr. crewing, won the gold medal in Stars in the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles, California, winning five of the seven races.

Gilbert Gray was a mainstay member of the SYC Lipton teams in competition for the Gulf Yachting Association Lipton Cup Regatta, Chairman of the Race Committee for three years, an Honorary Life Member, three times winner of the Sugar Bowl Race of Champion, and five times named the Sailor of the Year. For 11 years, he served as SYC’s fleet measurer, from 1968 through 1978.

Gilbert Gray was elected to the Sports Hall of Fame of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a fitting tribute to one of SYC’s finest competitors. Gray was a native of Ruston, Louisiana, and a graduate of Warren Easton High School, where he was an outstanding athlete. He was a draftsman in the shipbuilding industry and designed military craft for Higgins Industries during World War II. In 1978, Gray was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.

 

 

Accomplishments and Honors

Year(s) Places(s) Event
1978 nducted into New Orleans Hall of Fame
1968-78 Southern Yacht Club Fleet Measurer
1950-52 Southern Yacht Club Race Committee Chairman
1st 12 times, 2nd or 3rd eight times Sailed 29 Lipton Regattas
nducted into Sports Hall of Fame for Veterans of Foreign Wars
1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1949 Five-time recipient of the Tessier Trophy, awarded to Southern Yacht Club’s Top Sailor of the Year
Three-time winner of Sugar Bowl Race of Champions
1932 Olympic Gold Medal, Star Class, Los Angeles Games

 

 

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