Deceased , Modern

Richard Irving

Stearns III



Richard Stearns III is an American sailor who has medaled in the Olympics and the Pan American Games in the Star Class. He has also coached extensively, was a President of Murphy and Nye Sailmakers, and a Vice President of United States Yacht Racing Union (USYRU).

The following is excerpted from the Lake Michigan Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 2014:

Dick Stearns, known the world over for his sail racing success, quietly worked to make the sport better.
He was coach and manager for two Olympic teams (Canada and Germany) and for two Pan American teams (Mexico and Columbia). He served as Chairman of the United States Olympic Yachting Committee for eight years, 1968 to 1976. He was a member of the US Olympic Committee Executive Board for five years. He was elected Vice President of the United States Yacht Racing Union (now US Sailing).
His extensive sailing knowledge was brought to bear as President of Murphy and Nye Sailmakers, where he not only manufactured winning sails, but also shared his knowledge with anyone on how to improve their sailing techniques. Characteristically unselfish and immodest, he helped hundreds of sailors to have many hours of fun sail racing-boats.
Dick owned an airplane which carried him to many sailing events and, if lucky, fellow competitors could catch a ride.
His fellowship and leadership has helped make the sport of sail racing an important part of American life.
The Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation is honored to induct Richard I. Stearns III into the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame.

Accomplishments and Awards
• 2014 Inducted into the Great Lakes Hall of Fame
• Star Class World Champion (Gold Star)
• Pan American Star Class Gold Medal
• 1964 Olympic Games Star Class Silver Medal
• Seven North American Star Class Championships
• Nine Silver Stars
• Five Blue Stars
• Six U.S. Shipping Board Trophies
• 10 Sheridan Shore Race Weeks
• Five Jahncke Trophies
• Three Walker-Meyer Series
• Etchells Class Great Lakes Champion
• Soling Class Great Lakes Champion
• Two Tartan 10 Class National Championships
• 1967, 1968 1st, Star Class Bacardi Cup
• 1st, as skipper or crew, six Chicago to Mackinac races
• 1st, as crew, Port Huron to Mackinac race
• 1st National Offshore One Design-Chicago (Chicago NOOD) Regatta Overall

For further reading:

 Dick Stearns obituary

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