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Hall of Fame, 2016
Baird, Phillip Edward "Ed" - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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Philip Edward "Ed" Baird

Ed Baird - 2016 Hall of Famer  

May 17, 1958
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Florida

 

“Try your hardest and enjoy what you’re doing.”

Thinking Man

Ed-Baird-holds-AmericasCupOn their first date, Ed Baird took Lisa, his wife to be, to a party at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club the evening before the SORC began. Lisa, from mid-Ohio, was puzzled: “I didn’t even know they raced those things.” Their next date was on a J/24 during a qualifying race for the 1987 J/24 World Championship. “It’s raining, windy, cold,” Lisa recalls. “I’m thinking…really? We’re leading. There’s a boat on our heels. No one warns me we’re going to tack. Suddenly I’m hanging onto the lifelines, dragging in the water. This hand grabs the scruff of my neck, hauls me aboard.”

Ed: “It wasn’t my hand. You have to trust your teammates to take care of those things.”

Lisa: “We won the race. Ed had never once raised his voice. He took me to the J/24 Worlds in Capri, ten 14-hour days. As green as I was, Ed never yelled at me, never made me feel bad. But that’s how he is. He respects you for what you can do. You win or lose as a team. We’ve been married 27 years and he’s still one of my favorite people.”

Ed Baird raced in his first Laser Worlds in Fremantle, 1979. He’d done well (1-2-5) in the light, morning winds, and struggled (mid-20s) afternoons in the blustery Fremantle Doctor. “I realized I did better when thinking counted more,” he says. The following year at Kingston, Ontario, in lighter winds, he won the Championship. He says the wide range of ever-changing conditions on Tampa Bay he’s had to face since he began sailing at nine years old have provided him with a unique advantage.

Baird’s thoughtful approach has served him well. In 1995, he coached New Zealand to its first ever America’s Cup win. He won the World Match Racing Championships that same year, and was named US Sailing’s Yachtsman of the Year. In 2007, he took the helm and won the America’s Cup for Switzerland, and was named Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Coaching has become part of Baird’s busy life. He tells sailors in his clinics to take charge, “Do the right thing...look at the situation, make choices, do what you think is right and see what happens.”

- Roger Vaughan


Links of Interest:

Ed Baird Wikipedia page

Sailor's Biography - Ed Baird - World Sailing

Ed Baird's "Author's Page" on SailingWorld.com

A Conversation with Ed Baird - 2006 - CupInfo.com

 

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Burnham, Malin - 2016 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award | Print |
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Malin Burnham

Malin Burnham - 2016 Hall of Famer  

November 12, 1927
Birthplace: San Diego, California

  LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

“I’ve always been student of something.”

Mr. San Diego

In 1945, at age 17, Malin Burnham became the youngest ever to win the Star World Championship. Fellow sailors say he’s the best natural helmsman they’ve seen. That’s part of it. The rest has to do with the seven virtues he was taught in the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) junior program. We all know them: commitment, dedication, hard work, teamwork, follow through, playing by the rules, and planning ahead. We all give them lip service while Burnham has made them his mantra. He was a major contributor to a new junior sailing center at the yacht club on one condition: that the seven virtues would not only be taught there, but indelibly imprinted on the building. One of those virtues, playing by the rules, cost him a second Star World Championship. He and crew Jim Reynolds had a strong lead in the 1963 series in Chicago. “In race four, the leech of the main touched the windward mark,” Reynolds says. No one saw the infringement, but Burnham immediately dropped out.

Malin-Burnham-with-ACAs a sailor, Malin Burnham is probably best known for his influential presence in the America’s Cup as helmsman (Enterprise 1977), trial horse skipper (1980, 1983), syndicate head (1987, 1988), director of the legal defense team (1988), and design director (IACC yacht, 1989). He says managing Dennis Conner’s comeback in 1987 was the highlight. To announce their quest, in 1984, Burnham called a press conference. “Six people attended,” Burnham recalls. “We were two guys with no money and no boats. But you’ve got to be a calculated risk-taker if you are a sailor, so off we went.”

He’s not enthused about the current direction of the Cup. “They are taking the uniqueness out of it,” he says. “Challengers and defenders are all racing together. We’ve lost the grandeur of the oldest active trophy in sport. We need a neutral authority to run things, sites announced years in advance, national teams…”

At 88, Burnham still plays handball and goes to work every day. He’s written a book about leadership – Community Before Self – and in 2013, he was presented with the esteemed Midway American Patriot Award. As a sailor, the last of his four wins in the very competitive International Masters regatta now held at the SDYC was in 2015, a fitting bookend to his early, and continued success in Star boats.

- Roger Vaughan


Links of Interest:

 Malin Burnham Wikipedia Page.

 "A Conversation with Malin Burnham" - San Diego Union Tribune

Malin Burnham - Herreshoff Marine Museum & America's Cup Hall of Fame

Malin Burnham Executive Profile and Biography - BusinessWeek.com

The Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement in San Diego

The Malin Burnham Center for Civice Engagement - YouTube (with interviews with Mr. Burnham)

The Malin Burnham Sailing Center at San Diego Yacht Club - Sailors for the Sea

Video — Interview with Malin Burnham about America's Cup - YouTube 

Video — Discussion: Malin Burnham, BS '49, Talks Leadership — Stanford Law School

 

 Video — Malin Burnham — Notes to Our Sons and Daughters Project

 

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Ficker, William Peter "Bill" - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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William Peter "Bill" Ficker

Bill Ficker -2016 Hall of Famer  

December 12, 1927 - March 13, 2017
Birthplace: Pomona, California

 

“I believe we learn a lot if we listen.”

Quicker


One afternoon in 1970, Bill Ficker, the Star World Champion (1958) and Congressional Cup winner (1974) who would steer Intrepid to an America’s Cup win that year, encountered Ted Turner after winning a trial race in Newport, Rhode Island. “He walked up to me,” Ficker recalls, “and said, `Ficka is quicka.’ The next day he arrived with a box full of buttons bearing that slogan. I cringed a little bit.” 

Putting aside superior tactics and his allocation of responsibility that produced a happy boat, Ficker credits Cal Tech with Intrepid’s quickness. “They interpreted all our speed data,” he says. “We sailed precisely to the numbers they gave us. The crew was very disciplined. Tactician Steve van Dyck and navigator Peter Wilson did a good job keeping me on the numbers.” 

Wilson says Ficker had a unique way of motivating the crew. “He wanted all of us to decide how best to do our jobs. If I said we were over our numbers, guys trimming would have freedom to make changes so we’d point higher, and vice versa. Once Bus Mosbacher came to practice with us in case something were to happen to Bill. The jib trimmer made an adjustment. Bus said, `I didn’t call that.’ Bill’s way was very different. He built teamwork, with never a harsh word.” 

Bill Ficker has had a cat bird seat for watching both his beloved Star class and the America’s Cup go through significant changes. The Star class was one of the few games in town 75 years ago, and at one time, the only class with a world championship regatta. He applauds its ability to police itself and to adapt to new materials and technology. Ficker helped direct that adaptation as a member of the class’s technical committee. 

As for the Cup, Ficker has said the big catamarans were “flat out dangerous.” Those who sailed them would agree. But lately, he has become more philosophical. “I’ve always thought of the Cup as yachting,” he says, “not sailing, with something about the social end that bound people together. When I sailed, people in the syndicates truly loved the sport. It wasn’t commercial at all. The possibility of making money from something substantially changes the attitude. But it also permits a lot of people to enter into the sport when previously they could not.”

- Roger Vaughan


Links of Interest:

William P. Ficker — Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame

Bill Ficker Wikipedia Page

Bill Ficker Profile — "Personalities of the Star Class" — StarClass.org

"California Pioneers Sailed Into Picture: Dougan and Ficker Helped Open America's Cup to the West Coast" — June 17, 1988 article in Los Angeles Times

"Eight Bells: Bill Ficker - SailingScuttlebutt.com

 

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Johnson, Harriet Electa Search "Exy" - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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Harriet Electa Search "Exy" Johnson

Electa Johnson-2016HallofFamer  

August 17, 1909 – November 9, 2004
Birthplace: Rochester, New York

 

“The Magistrate is tall and strong, would be noticeable in any group, and is a born sailor. He has a rare sense of humor, but also a dignity and air of authority which have won him the respect of his people.”

By Electa Search Johnson
From "A Visit to Pitcairn, The Lonely Isle of Mutiny" —
The New York Times, 6-24-1934.”

Love at First Fright

At Smith College, Electa Search had become friends with Gwen Bohning, who would marry Warwick Tompkins, skipper of the pilot schooner Wander Bird. Tompkins was making Atlantic crossings with paying customers at the time. A non-sailor, Exy joined Gwen on a voyage and met Irving Johnson, who was on Wander Bird’s crew. One brisk evening at sea, Irving tucked Exy under his arm and carried her to the end of a yard arm for an unobstructed view of the sunset. It was love at first fright.

The Johnsons were a unique team. Neither of them could have carried off the ambitious plan of making world voyages without the other. Captain Irving managed the boat and the sailing, while First Mate Exy worked just as hard at the mountain of logistics involved, and the advertising and public relations. She was the writer in the family, responsible for those Rochester Times-Herald, New York Times, and National Geographic pieces from exotic lands, and the eight books that brought their voyages alive, stimulating the dreams of young readers. She also had the babies (two boys), mothering and educating the children afloat while managing the galley, and standing watches.

On the tall ships race from Bermuda in 1976, Exy and I were watch mates. She insisted on taking her turn going down the narrow, vertical metal ladder into the mad clatter of the engine room for half hour stints.

In her own sweet way, Exy was as tough as her husband, and as committed. During a stopover in Egypt on one voyage, a wall Irving was standing on collapsed under him. He was badly injured, bleeding from 27 puncture wounds in his body. A crewman reported that Exy rushed to her unconscious husband, held him close and whispered, “Irving, if you can hear me, and if there is any reason you don’t want pictures taken, make a movement.” When Johnson didn’t move, Exy looked up and nodded at the photographer to proceed.

- Roger Vaughan


Links of Interest:

Electa Johnson Wikipedia Page 

Electa Johnson Obituary — Boston.com News

Electa Johnson Obituary — Los Angeles Times

Irving and Electa Johnson Collection — Mystic Seaport Museum

 "He Couldn't Have Done It Without Her: Exy Johnson's Seafaring Legacy" — Seahistory.org

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Johnson, Irving McClure - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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Irving McClure Johnson

Irving Johnson-2016 Hall of Famer  

July 4, 1905 - January 2, 1991
Birthplace: Hadley, Massachussetts

 

“Romance is a powerful disease.”

Sail Training Pioneer

When he was crew on a 60-footer, Irving Johnson would pick up the 75-pound anchor and casually toss it overboard. He rowed the yacht’s dinghy so fast its wake rocked the big boat. He could lower himself down the leech of a square sail by pinching the cloth between his fingers. It was all just for fun, and because he could.

In the course of writing about Irving Johnson as he turned 73 (1979), I traveled to his family farm in Hadley, Massachusetts where he and his wife Electa (Exy) chose to retire. During lunch at the kitchen table, Irving quietly put down his fork, rose up silently like a cat, and disappeared. “It’s the groundhog,” Exy said, looking out the window toward the big oak tree.

We watched Irving come into sight around the corner of a shed, carrying a hoe. He stealthily approached the animal, raised the hoe, and bambambam! it was over. Irving dangled the groundhog by a hind leg for us to see, then began high stepping toward our window, brandishing the hoe.

Three years before, the Johnsons and I had been together on the tall ships race from Bermuda to New York Harbor. One afternoon, we had lost the tops’l sheet on Te Vega, a 137-foot schooner. In a flash, Irving started aloft. I dove below for a camera, and by the time I’d reached the hounds he had reattached the sheet and was halfway back from the end of the gaff, 140 feet above the deck. When he saw me and the camera, he stopped, held up a hand, and went back to the end of the gaff for the photo.

Irving Johnson’s immense store of sailing talent, his strength, ingenuity, curiosity, and outstanding blue water seamanship allowed him and his wife to complete seven successful two-year world voyages under sail in three different vessels with a crew of a dozen or more college boys. In all, he and Exy sailed half a million miles.

In addition, Johnson was a wonderful storyteller whose lectures of his trips and adventures to exotic lands were so riveting people referred to him as “the old spellbinder.” That was because the adventures never lost their magic for him. “I could whip up a romance over a rowboat,” Johnson once confessed, “And romance is a powerful disease.”

- Roger Vaughan


Links of Interest:

Irving Johnson Wikipedia Page

Biography of Irving Johnson — Mystic Seaport Museum

Irving Johnson Obituary — New York Times

Irving and Electa Johnson Collection — Mystic Seaport Museum

"Chasing a 56-year old Ghost" — Cruising World Magazine

June 4, 1940 letter from Irving Johnson to Miss Bessie Young from onboard

Irving Johnson (ship) Wikipedia Page

Video: "The Peking Battles Cape Horn" - filmed by Irving Johson (photographed 1929, narrated 1980) 

 

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Johnstone, Robert LeGrand "Bob" III - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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Robert LeGrand "Bob" Johnstone III

Bob Johnstone - 2016HallofFamer  

March 8, 1934
Birthplace: Glen Ridge, New Jersey

 

“I’m blessed to pursue my passion as a business.”

Reinventing Boats

When he was 23, Bob Johnstone didn’t get the job as manager at Bob Derecktor’s boatyard. “You’re too smooth, you need roughing up,” Derecktor had told him. Johnstone was relieved. “Sailing was my love, my escape into peace, God, the wind and waves,” he said. “I was concerned about making it my business.” After Princeton and the U.S. Army, went to work for Quaker Oats.

But the signs were there. He and his wife, Mary, often chartered from Bob Hinckley, and Johnstone always gave Hinckley a long list of how to improve his boat. As CEO of Quaker Oats subsidiaries in South America, Johnstone promoted Sunfish as an ideal, fun way to learn to sail. Back in Chicago, again using Sunfish (and Hobies), he started Sail Wilmette through Parks and Recreation – a radical idea – and it took off.

Later, as Director of Market Strategy and Analysis for Quaker, Johnstone advocated performance when the company wanted to develop a leisure product. “The great French skier Jean Claude Killy was promoting Rossignol skis,” Johnstone recalls. “Even beginners wanted them so they would look good.”

Lured away from Quaker by AMF-Alcort, Johnstone told them they needed a follow up boat to their Sunfish, so people could share their newfound joy with their families, wearing street clothes. His bother Rod was finishing a 24-footer in his garage that Bob thought was the answer. AMF couldn’t see it, so Bob left and started J/Boats with Rod. Bob was President in charge of marketing and operations. Rod was the designer.

They asked Everett Pearson to build the quick, 24-footer. Pearson asked how many they wanted. “The O’Day 25 had sold 250 its first year,” Bob says. “So I told Ev, 250! We sold 750 J/24s the first year. Buckminster Fuller bought one. It’s such a thrill when someone so respected honors your creation.” The J/24 was the first of 21 J/Boat designs to be awarded Boat-of-the Year or win Sailboat Hall of Fame honors. Fifteen thousand J Boats of all sizes have been built, including about 5,700 J/24s. Harvard Business School has a case study on J/Boats.

After he passed the company on to the next generation, Bob Johnstone started MJM Yachts, a line of luxury motor yachts for older married couples – himself and Mary included. “The boats are easy to handle,” he says, “and of course being beautiful was priority #1.

- Roger Vaughan


 Links of Interest:

 "Salt Water in their Veins" — Soundings Magazine

 About Bob Johnstone — MJM Yachts

J/24 Wikipedia Page

"A Brand of Brothers" — Sail Magazine

"The Brothers Johnstone Launched a Success Story with Their J Boats" — Sports Illustrated

"J Boats: Sailing to Success - A Family Affair" — Boats.com

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Johnstone, Rodney Stuart "Rod" - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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Rodney Stuart "Rod" Johnstone

Rod-Johnstone-2016HallofFamer  

January 15, 1937
Birthplace: Glen Ridge, New Jersey

 

“Half the pleasure of owning any boat is looking at it.”

About Performance

Rod Johnstone grew up sailing a homebuilt Lightning, then he raced Thistles, 505s, and 470s. He says they all had an influence on the lines he drew for the 24-footer that became J/Boats’ initial offering (J/24). But perhaps the biggest influence was a neighbor’s 30 square meter he was familiar with (LOA 43’ 6”; LWL 28’ 6”; BEAM 7’ 2”). In the mid-1970s, he took that boat to watch a New York Yacht Club reaching start in strong wind, sailing to leeward of four 12 Meters (Vim, Columbia, Easterner, and Weatherly) to observe their performance. “We just had our skinny little main up,” Johnstone recalls. “We were taking notes, and after 20 minutes, we realized we were keeping up with the 12s, doing 9 or 10 knots. We were planing! In those days, there were very few larger boats that planed.”

He went back to work on the 24-footer he was drawing, aiming for a keelboat that would plane and be stable. “Planing doesn’t rely on how fat the stern is,” Johnstone says. “It’s how flat the hull is ahead of the keel. The J/24 has dead rise, but heel it 15 degrees and it’s flat.”

 He had additional motivation for working on the 24-footer. During one very hot, light wind 470 regatta Johnstone sailed with his wife, Lucia, as crew, she lost her balance at one point. “I can’t recall what I said, but the word `elephant’ was used,” Johnstone says. “At the awards, she was smiling, but muttered she’d never set foot on the 470 again.”

 Rod shared the emphasis on performance with his brother Bob. “But a sailboat is a want, not a need,” he says. “Performance isn’t just speed, it’s about a boat doing what you want when you want to do it. Balance is key. It pleases me to know an average person can sail a boat of mine and get the same kick out of it that I do. A lot of non-racers sail our boats.”  

Rod’s son Alan has been chief designer at J/Boats since 1985. Sometimes they independently tackle a new design, then superimpose them on the CAD machine. The difference is often measured in millimeters. “Either I brainwashed him, or he brainwashed me,” Rod Johnstone says.

- Roger Vaughan


 Links of Interest:

J/24 Wikipedia Page

 The Sailboat Designs of Rod Johnstone by Year — SailboatData.com

"The Brothers Johnstone Launched a Success Story with Their J Boats" — Sports Illustrated

Rodney Johnstone, Designer / Naval Architect, J/Boats — SailingNetworks.com

"A Brand of Brothers" — Sail Magazine

"J Boats: Sailing to Success - A Family Affair" — Boats.com

"An Evening with Rod Johnstone: Sailing to Success" — WindCheck Magazine

"Growing the Sport with 'Perfect Sailboats'" — sailingscuttlebutt.com

Video: Rod Johnstone on 40 Years of J/Boats — talk at Mystic River Mudheads

 

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Perkins, Thomas James "Tom" - 2016 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award | Print |
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Thomas James "Tom" Perkins

Tom Perkins - 2016 Hall of Famer  

January 7, 1932 — June 7, 2016
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois

 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

“If there is no risk, you have already missed the boat.”

Big

When he was in his twenties, armed with degrees from MIT and Harvard, the late Tom Perkins went to work for a couple Stanford graduates named Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Perkins met the famous duo in the 1950s, when Palo Alto, California, was just beginning to boom. “Silicon Valley” wasn’t coined until 1971, but the game associated with that name – marathon startups in search of “the next big thing” – was in full play. And Tom Perkins was an all-star. He did a laser equipment startup in his spare time that was acquired for a pretty penny by Spectra Physics. That was just the beginning. Perkins’ extraordinary success put him in the venture capitalist hall of fame.

 “I got to know Tom through sailing when we were both 29,” says Knud Wibroe, a consulting engineer. “We both lived in Sausalito. I raced an 8 Meter, Tom raced an International Canoe. I had the bigger boat in the beginning, but that certainly changed.”

The yachting community knows Perkins by Maltese Falcon, one of the largest sailboats ever built (LOA 289’). That Perkins would build such a vessel didn’t surprise Wibroe, or others who knew him. His new-business philosophy emphasized big on all counts: “Take big risks…carefully,” he advocated. “[The new business] should make a contribution 10 times greater than what’s out there…100 times greater would be better.” His yachting philosophy followed suit.

Wibroe says that no one believed in the modern square rigger concept besides Tom Perkins and the designer. Perkins was in Turkey frequently during construction of Maltese Falcon. He had the yard build a full-scale prototype of a mast that was 200 feet tall, four feet in diameter. He immersed himself in the details, working out problems with the push-button, unstayed rig, one at a time.

“Tom was a fantastic sailor,” Wibroe says. “I saw him back into a slip in St. Tropez with six inch clearance on either side. He had a professional skipper, but he always ran the boat when he was on board." He was amazingly generous. He championed Leukemia Cup Regattas by providing leadership gifts. Well-known advocates he recruited to speak at those events included Al Gore, Rupert Murdock, Ted Turner, Joe Lacob, and Sir Ben Ainsle.

“Maltese Falcon was a very big risk,” Wibroe says, “but Perkins won with flying colors. He got that huge square rigger to point with 12 Meters, and once we hit 22.5 knots.

- Roger Vaughan


 Links of Interest:

 Tom Perkins (Businessman) Wikipedia Page

 Maltese Falcon Wikipedia Page

Maltese Falcon official website

Tom Perkins — Alumni Profile — MIT

"Tom Perkins Talks on a Lifetime of Sailing" — Sailblast

"Tom Perkins Sails Away from Silicon Valley" — Kevin Allison (Reuters Blog Post)

"Deep Flight of the Navigator (Super Subs)" — DeepFlight.com

Video (link) — "The Captain of Capitalism" — CBS 60 Minutes

 

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Back to the 2016 Hall of Famers

 

The Class of 2016


nshof-logo-small

Hall of Fame
2016

Ed Baird - 2016 Hall of Famer
Ed Baird

Malin Burnham - 2016 Hall of Famer
Malin Burnham
                     *
Bill Ficker - 2016 Hall of FamerBill Ficker


Electa-Johnson-2016HallofFamerExy Johnson

Irving Johnson - 2016 Hall of FamerIrving Johnson

Bob Johnstone - 2016 Hall of Famer Bob Johnstone

   Rod Johnstone - 2016 Hall of FamerRod Johnstone

Tom Perkins - 2016 Hall of FamerTom Perkins
                    *
Dave - Ullman - 2016 Hall of FamerDave Ullman

* Lifetime Achievement Award  

Video - Induction Ceremony

 Induction Highlights Video - Click here

The Class of 2016 Induction was held on October 30, 2016 during a weekend of ceremonies at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California.

Click here for the Announcement press release (PDF).Click here for the Announcement press release (PDF).


The National Sailing Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to: Preserving the history ofthe sport and its impact on American culture; honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing; the teaching of STEM education using sailing as a model, and the role sailing plays in American history; inspiring and encouraging sailing development; and providing an international landmark for sailing enthusiasts. 

Click here to read the bylaws and selection criteria used for this Class of 2016.

 
Ullman, David Charles "Dave" - 2016 Hall of Fame | Print |
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David Charles "Dave" Ullman

Dave Ullman -2016 Hall of Famer.jpg  

January 6, 1946
Birthplace: Newport Beach, California

 

“The goal on a boat is to surround yourself with people better than you.”

Minimizing Mistakes

The story that Dave Ullman’s father made him steer blindfolded when he was learning to sail is true. “It was a big help later on,” Ullman says. “Using more senses than just my sight allowed me to do tactics and not have to concentrate on steering. It was a key to what successes I had later on.”

 “What successes” would take up several pages, and would include world championships in the 470 (three) and Melges 24 classes; national championships in Thistles, Snipes, Lido 14s (six), Sabots (three), Coronado 15s, 470s (four), and Melges 24s, from 1969 to 2007. His big boat successes would take up another page. Ullman was selected Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1996. He says the number of classes he raced had to do with business. He opened his sail loft at age 21, figuring the best way to sell his product was to win with it. He was right. Fifty years later, Ullman Sails remains one of the top five companies in the business.

His secret? “Minimizing mistakes,” he says. “Sailing is about not doing things wrong. You have to minimize mistakes so your score line is even with no major failures. Eliminating risk is a key to success, having everything worked out and sailing quite conservative, no-risk regattas.”

He considers experience a huge factor. “Sailing is an instinctive sport,” he says. “Experience lets you instinctively know what to do in a situation without having to analyze it. The answer just comes up, and that’s thanks to time put in.”

That’s why Ullman thinks sailors are at their best in their mid-to-late 30s. He won the Melges 24 Worlds in 2007, when he was 61, a victory he treasures. “The beauty of sailing,” Ullman says, “is you can be quite competitive at a higher age. My wife keeps me in decent shape, and you have to pick the right boat. I coach the U.S. women’s 470 team, and I often get in their boat to see if it is set up right. But at 70, no way could I race it. You have to pick a Melges, or a J/70, where the skipper’s part is more mental than physical. Because your brain still works. Sailing is one of the few sports where age doesn’t catch up with you as fast.”

- Roger Vaughan


 Links of Interest:

 Dave Ullman Wikipedia Page

Dave Ullman Bio – UllmanSails.com

"Dave Ullman: The Magic Revealed" — SailingScuttlebutt.com

Dave Ullman Profile — US Sailing

Video: Blue Chip E-Scow 50th Mystery Guest Interview - Dave Ullman #43

 

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