Emil "Bus" Mosbacher, Jr.
“Starts are of great importance... in a match race, perhaps 50%.”
April 1, 1922 - August 13, 1997
Birthplace: White Plains, New York
It was no surprise to those who had raced with him when Bus Mosbacher joined the U.S. State Department as President Nixon’s Head of Protocol. Mosbacher was known to them as a master of decorum, a conspicuously modest man who never raised his voice even in rare moments of havoc. Some say Mosbacher was incapable of shouting. A perfectionist committed to the highest standards, Mosbacher’s habitual smile cloaked a will of steel that inspired his crew to meet his lofty expectations.
Junior Champion of Long Island Sound, Intercollegiate Champion at Dartmouth two years running, and his eight titles in International One Designs in as many years (1947 to 1955) – the IOD was the hot fleet of the day – were reasons enough for Sports Illustrated to label Mosbacher (in 1962) “the finest helmsman of our time.” In 1958, Mosbacher had steered the pre-war 12-meter Vim to a near win against the brand new Columbia in the defender trials. Mosbacher’s great starts, his work to windward, and the way he molded the crew into a cohesive unit presented a formidable challenge to Columbia . But it was impossible for the selection committee not to favor the new boat.
Mosbacher steered the slower Weatherly to a 4-1 win over the faster Gretel (AUS) in the America’s Cup of 1962, winning race 4 by only 26 seconds. He sailed Intrepid to a sweep over Dame Pattie (AUS) in the 1967 Cup.
“Yacht racing is a combination of chess and bridge,” Mosbacher once said, “with some physical ability thrown in…tactics, strategy, organization, details, and a happy association with nice people.”
- Roger Vaughan