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Hall of Fame, 2012

NSHOF-Class of 2012

Barrett, Peter - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Peter Jones Barrett

Peter J. Barrett  

February 20, 1935 – December 17, 2000
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin


“In any competitive endeavor, success goes to those who most want to succeed.”

In the 1964 Olympics in Japan, Peter Barrett started the final Finn race with a gold medal virtually assured. After the start, he took the stern of a starboard tack boat. Hiking flat out, he thought he felt a little “tick” as the boats passed, indicating his shoulder might have touched the other boat’s rudder. The other skipper didn’t react. But the knowledge that he might have committed a foul was enough to make Barrett drop out (no penalty turns in those days). “That was Barrett,” says Peter Harken, of Harken, Inc., a close friend who took mechanical engineering courses from Barrett at the University of Wisconsin. “He was the greatest sailing sportsman ever.”

Despite his thick glasses, and lack of an athletic build, Barrett played quarterback in high school. He was known for his strength and determination. He was a brilliant student who earned a law degree on the side. As a Finn sailor, he was known for his willingness to share his go-fast secrets with his nearest competitors, even during the Olympic trials.

In the 1968 Olympics, Barrett crewed for Lowell North on a Star. On the way to the start of the last race, the main halyard broke. Barrett unstepped the mast, laid it in the water, swam out, pulled up the sail and tied it in place, got back in the boat, and somehow lifted the mast with the sail attached out of the water and stepped it. North and Barrett went on to win the gold medal.

When North started making sails, he recruited Barrett as his first sailor-salesman, or “Tiger.” Barrett went on to be president of North Sails.

Throughout his competitive career, Peter Barrett won national championships in 470s and Finns, as well as C- and A-Scows. He was a contributing editor to Yacht Racing Cruising (now Sailing World). He also designed a number of sailboats.

Barrett died of cancer in 2000. The University of Wisconsin’s sailing program annually awards a trophy in Barrett’s name “for excellence in sportsmanship during competition.”


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Wikipedia entry for Peter J. Barrett (sailor)

Article about Barrett written by Donald P. Sanford for the Mendota Yacht Club

US Sailing Peter J. Barrett Sportsmanship Trophy

Patent for a Mounting Device for a Boat Sail - filed by Barrett

Peter J. Barrett Sailing Alliance at Delavan Lake Sailing School

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Bavier, Bob, Jr. - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Robert Newton Bavier Jr.

Robert Newton Bavier Jr.  

March 10, 1918 - February 21, 2001
Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York


“We still bring up our youngsters in tame, relatively heavy boats.” (1970)

When Gary Jobson was 19, he remembers crewing for a series of notable skippers who were racing a variety of small boats with the object of selecting a junior boat for Long Island Sound. He raced with Bus Mosbacher, Arthur Knapp, Andy Kostanecki, Cornelius Shields, Jr., and Bob Bavier. Jobson noted in his log book that Bob Bavier impressed him as the best helmsman.

Born into a sailing family – his father was first to sail a Marconi-rigged boat in an ocean race (Bermuda 1923), and was in America’s Cup contender Wheetamo’s afterguard – Bob Bavier won the Sears Cup before leading his Williams College team to Intercollegiate titles in 1939 and 1940. Along the way he skippered Williams to a MacMillan Cup win.

Bavier smartly combined sailing and business when he joined Yachting magazine’s advertising sales staff after WWII. Devreaux Barker, a novice journalist at the time, says Bavier was of immeasurable help to him. “He was a warm, personable man,” Barker recalls, “and a good writer and editor. I never wrote anything without showing it to Bob.” Bavier authored seven books on yacht racing.

Bavier rose to be Publisher of Yachting, with a monthly column of his own, “From the Cockpit.” The column was aptly titled. Bavier kept an ambitious racing schedule, including skippering the 12-meter Constellation to an America’s Cup win in 1964. He served as Vice-President of ISAF. As President of US Sailing, Bavier took the organization to a new level of international participation. He set a high standard of service to the sport.

In his influential column, his opinions were well-founded and tastefully presented. In contemplating the need for a new Cup boat in 1970, Bavier wrote: “I can’t help but wonder if a smaller, lighter boat than the current 12s might have a chance….a new approach might make for a more sprightly boat, better to accelerate after tacking, better at least in light air.” His criticism of sailing in 1970 warranted attention: “We are not in tune with the rest of the world that is zeroing in on light, sporting, two-man centerboarders often equipped with trapezes.”


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

August 30, 1954 Sports Illustrated article


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Bemis, F. Gregg - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


F. Gregg Bemis

F. Gregg Bemis  

October 6, 1900 - February 12, 1995 
Birthplace: Boston, Massachussetts


“There’s a difference between rounding a mark and passing a mark.”

Gregg Bemis, Harvard Class of ’30, is one of the fathers of the modern day racing rules. In 1950, Bemis sat down with Harold Vanderbilt and Gerald Sambrooke-Sturgess and fine-tuned the rules Vanderbilt had been working on since the 1930s. Those rules went into effect in 1961, and for the first time ever the rules became identical wherever sailboats are raced.

Bemis was Chairman of the NAYRU appeals committee for many years, after which he became Chairman of the NAYRU racing rules committee. He was also a senior international judge who served at the Olympics and the America’s Cup. He was a judge long before US Sailing created a judging program. When faced with a difficult protest, Bemis would often take the devil’s advocate position to help sharpen the focus of the other judges. “He was a keen thinker”, says Cdr. Harry Anderson, who served on the Appeals Committee with Bemis for many years, “He was also a good sailor.”

A three-time 210 national champion, Bemis brought many years of racing experience to the table when rules were being discussed and applied.

“Gregg Bemis was a judge at a regatta at MIT when I was at Yale,” says Dave Perry, current Chair of US Sailing’s Appeals Committee. “I screwed up my courage, introduced myself, and asked him a rules question. Forty-five minutes later he was still chatting with me and 10 other sailors who had gathered. His kindness and approachability made a deep impression.”

Every four years after the Olympics, Bemis played a major role in updating the  changes in the rules necessitated by innovative tactics. He authored Learning the Racing Rules, an oft-reprinted book that was required reading for sailors in the 1950s and 60s. Another of his books, Yacht Race Scoring, was the authority in its field.

At Bemis’ funeral service several of his grandchildren gave eulogies. One granddaughter recalled a visit with the Bemises. Appearing for breakfast one morning, she found her grandfather pacing back and forth reading a copy of the racing rules. She said he turned to her and said, “You must remember, there’s a difference between rounding a mark and passing a mark.”


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

F. Gregg Bemis Trophy Winners - US Junior Doublehanded Championship

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Honey, Stanley - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Stanley Kohnen Honey

Stanley K. Honey  

April 8, 1955 - 
Birthplace: Pasadena, California


“In the stands at an NFL game I’ve heard a kid ask his father, Where’s the yellow line?’”

Stan Honey is indelibly associated with the yellow first down line one sees on televised NFL games. But there’s so much more. Honey’s greatest achievement has been his ability to merge his electrical engineering genius that includes innovative breakthroughs in moving-map vehicle navigation, remote sensoring, and tracking and highlighting systems for sports, with his love of sailing.

Honey’s sailing record is almost as impressive as his electronics breakthroughs that include the red and blue tails he attached to streaking hockey pucks, the tracking of NASCAR and IRL cars, and the strike zone showing pitch location in televised baseball games. He was a top sailor at Yale in the Class of ’78. As navigator, he’s won 11 of 22 Transpac races. He’s held single- and double-handed as well as fully crewed Transpac records; won the Volvo Ocean Race (ABN AMRO ONE, 2005-06); and broken the Jules Verne Circumnavigation record (Groupama 3, 2010) -- highlighting a score of other notable victories. In 2010, he was voted Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Most recently, Honey has come up with the impressive set of on-screen television graphics that has illuminated the complexities of the fleet and match racing by 45-foot catamarans competing in the 34th America’s Cup World Series. For years, race promoters have tried and failed to make sailboat racing a spectator-friendly sport. With his creative use of a heady array of electronic tools, Stan Honey is on the verge of success. The key element in his display is a visual presentation of the boundaries that keep the fleet centered which adds an important tactical element.

Honey says his work in technology has a lot in common with a successful ocean racing team. “You have to trust one another to take on different bits, and trust everyone to ask for help when they need it. You’re not cold and wet all the time, but in terms of team dynamics, it’s all the same.”

Honey’s advice to Transpac sailors: “Pick your strategy and stick to it. Then whatever happens, make up your story for the Kaneohe Bar and stick to it.”


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Interview with Stan Honey for YachtPals.com

Stan Honey - What is the America's Cup? - YouTube video

The Race to Modernize Sailing - Article in June 29, 2012 Wall Street Journal

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Kirby, Bruce - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Bruce Robert William Kirby

Bruce Robert Williams Kirby, Jr.  

January 2, 1929 - 
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario
U.S Citizen: May 31, 1999


“Once I’m in my Sonar, the aches and pains go away.”

Bruce Kirby was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal before he became a yacht designer. A competitive sailor in International 14 dinghies from age 15, his focus was on making the boats faster. After being beaten in a regatta at Cowes in heavy wind, he drew the Kirby Mark I on a piece of shelf paper. It was fast upwind in a breeze.  He sold 30 of the Mark I.

Untrained, Kirby began designing by observing. “I had a copy of Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design. If you can understand 50% of what’s in that book, you can design a boat. Design isn’t brain surgery. We should always pretend that it is, but it’s really not.” Having made that modest disclaimer, Kirby grants that designing a vessel that is compatible with two disparate elements – air and water – is, in fact, a challenge. There were seven versions of the Kirby International 14 built: 739 boats total. “It was done seat of the pants,” Kirby says. “No testing. It was all empirical. Each new boat was a take-off on the old one.”

In 1964, Kirby moved to Finns and made the Canadian Olympic team.

He didn’t quit his day job. By the mid-1960s, Kirby had become editor of One Design Yachtsman (now Sailing World). He jumped into a Star boat in 1968, and again represented Canada in the Olympics. In 1971, a car-top dinghy he had designed at a friend’s request was launched, and Kirby’s fame was assured. The boat was called the Laser. More than 250,000 of this demanding Olympic class dinghy have been built.

In the summer of 2011, at age 82, Kirby sailed in the Sonar European Championships held in Scotland. He won two races. He continues to sail the 24-foot Sonar, personal favorite of his 63 designs, out of the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, Connecticut. He gives away 20 years to the next oldest skipper, but still manages to record frequent top three finishes. “I do my best work in 15 knots and above,” he says. “Once I’m in my Sonar, the aches and pains go away.”


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Wikipedia entry for Bruce Kirby

Master list of Bruce Kirby boat designs - from Bruce Kirby Marine

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Kostecki, John - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


John Paul Kostecki

John Paul Kostecki  

June 7, 1964 - 
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


“I was more scared on BMWOracle’s big trimaran than I was at any time during the Volvo Ocean Race. It wasn’t just a little scary. It was scary.”

Several tennis players have won four major tournaments over a two-year period to register a “grand slam.” In baseball, grand slam home runs are belted at the rate of several a month. But only one person has ever achieved sailing’s grand slam by winning an Olympic medal, the Volvo Ocean Race, and the America’s Cup. That person is John Kostecki.

Kostecki started sailing at age eight at the Richmond (CA) Yacht Club. At age 17, he won the Sears Cup, a national championship for sailors 13 to 18. At 18, he won the Sunfish World Championship. He entered because the regatta was being held in California. He and some friends found a very windy practice area and worked until they were proficient in boats they hadn’t previously sailed (three of them finished in the top five). A student of his sport, Kostecki began accumulating world championships in ever larger boats -- 11 in all. Kostecki won his Olympic silver medal in Korea, 1988, in Solings.

In 2001-2002, in his second Volvo Race, Kostecki skippered illbruch to a convincing win after surviving a bad night 50 miles off Cape Town, South Africa, with a leak that threatened to sink his boat. For the 2010 America’s Cup, his fifth as tactician, Kostecki joined the BMW Oracle team on their 110-foot trimaran. Having raced a 40-foot catamaran in the 1990s in preparation for the short-lived Pro-Sail series, the multihull learning curve wasn’t too steep. “It was very similar to Volvo sailing,” he says, “very fast, requiring faster decisions, and you are constantly wet.” A smart tactical call by Kostecki in Race Two of the 2010 match helped BMW Oracle nail the victory.

As he prepares for the defense of the 2013 America’s Cup in multihulls, Kostecki has again been constantly wet. He and skipper James Spithill won the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series raced in 45-foot catamarans. 


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Wikipedia entry for John Paul Kostecki


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NSHOF Inducts Nine of Sailing’s Significant Contributors

CONTACT: Jan Harley, Media Pro International, jan.harley@mediapronewport.com, (401) 849-0220

Medal of Freedom Recipient, Creator of the Yellow First-Down Line for Televised Football
and Olympians Are Members of Historic Second Class of Inductees

New Orleans, La. (October 14, 2012) – There was an abundance of Southern hospitality and tradition in evidence today as the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame (NSHOF) inducted nine of the sport’s significant contributors into the National Sailing Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the second-oldest yacht club in the U.S.A, Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans.  From the opening notes played by the US Marine Corps band to the closing gun fired by master of ceremonies and 2011 inductee Gary Jobson, the four living and five posthumously inducted sailors – including a Medal of Freedom recipient, the father of the yellow first-down line for televised football, and several Olympians – were celebrated for having persevered to succeed in the sport.  The thread of overcoming adversity made the setting at Southern Yacht Club even more apropos: after fire ravaged the club in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, SYC was seriously impacted when Hurricane Isaac struck this past August – seven years to the day after Katrina had led to SYC being rebuilt.  In the midst of cleaning up from this latest challenge, SYC missed not a step in planning and executing the second-ever NSHOF induction.

2012 NSHOF Induction

The 2012 National Sailing Hall of Fame Induction at Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, Louisiana
(Photo credit NSHOF/George Long)  Click photo to download in high resolution

“The reason why we really are all here is the overall long term commitment and enjoyment to the sport of sailing,” said Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.), one of the four living sailing icons who were celebrated for their impact on the sport.  “No other sport can engage so many interests and such a broad range of intellects….Our sport is the purest and most challenging, the least harmful and the most restful pastime there is.  Keep on sailing as long as you can, it’s real good for you.“

Kirby’s first career was a newspaper man in Ottawa and Montreal, and he later became editor of One Design Yachtsman, the predecessor to Sailing World magazine.  However, the Canadian native (Ottawa, Ontario) is internationally best known as the designer of the Laser which is sailed in Olympic competition.  Over 250,000 of the one-design single-person boats have been built since the early ‘70s.  His designs also include the America’s Cup 12-Metres Canada I and Canada II, as well as the Ideal 18, San Juan 24 and the Sonar, which is raced in the Paralympics.  Kirby represented Canada at the Olympic Games three times:  sailing a Finn in 1956 and 1964, and a Star in 1968. At the young age of 82 he can still be found racing a Sonar – his favorite of the 63 boats he has designed – out of the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, Conn.

Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.), the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator, aboard ABN Amro One, is recognized as one of the most outstanding offshore sailors known world-wide.  In 2010 he was presented US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe after the trimaran Groupama 3, with Honey as navigator, set the benchmark of 48 days, seven hours and 45 minutes (surpassed two years later in 2012), while eclipsing a record – by more than two days and eight hours – that had stood for five years.  It has been reported that Groupama 3 would not have broken the record without Honey correctly calling the weather window when they had to re-start after a break down in the South Atlantic forced them to retire to fix the boat.   Later that year Honey secure another record – in the Newport Bermuda Race as navigator aboard Speedboat.   After leading the 183-boat fleet for most of the 635 nautical-mile race, Speedboat was the first boat to cross the line after racing for 59 hours.

Honey’s accomplishments ashore are equally impressive.  After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Engineering and Applied Science in 1978, and from Stanford University with a Masters in Science Electrical Engineering in 1983, Honey, in 1998, co-founded Sportvision Inc. which evolved into the leading developer of live-tracking enhancements for sports TV broadcasts.  Honey led the development of the yellow first-down line for televised football; the NASCAR racecar tracking and highlighting system; the red and blue tails attached to streaking hockey pucks; and the baseball K-Zone system, which highlights the pitch location and strike zone in televised baseball.  Honey currently works for the America's Cup Event Authority on TV technology and has created the on-screen graphics that clarify the complexities of the fleet and match racing by the catamarans competing in America’s Cup World Series.   He holds eight patents in navigational system design and 21 patents for TV special effects.

“It’s an incredible honor to be included in this list,” said Honey.   “These are individuals who have provided a huge inspiration for me through the time I’ve been sailing.  To be included on that same list was a huge honor, and frankly, astonishing.”  Honey went on to champion sailing as having a unique strength in its diversity, allowing anyone who wants to compete at an international and national level from when they are a kid.  “It’s an incredible strength and a characteristic of our sport that we need to communicate effectively to families and individuals that are choosing a sport. .. I think the National Sailing Hall of Fame is one of the few awards that really gives our sport the ability to communicate the diversity that has so many different facets to the sport but also lets people compete at whatever level they are able to throughout their entire life.”

Stan Honey with Dick Franyo

Stan Honey is inducted by Dick Franyo, President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame
(Photo credit NSHOF/George Long)  Click photo to download in high resolution

John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.) began sailing at age eight from the Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay, and like many sailors, he credited his parents for being “very instrumental in my career in getting me going with sailing.”   Kostecki has won the triple crown of sailing:  a ‘round the world race, the America’s Cup, and an Olympic medal, which is something no other sailor in the world has achieved.  “It’s pretty amazing, I’m still blown away with what I’ve achieved in the sport,” said Kostecki who was quick to explain that his achievements were all on crewed boats.  “I’m not out there single-handing and I’d like to thank all the team members I’ve had along the way who’ve helped me achieve these goals. “

Kostecki started accruing national sailing championships at age 17, and won his first world title in the Sunfish a year later.  In 1988 he won both the world championship and an Olympic silver medal in the Soling class.   In 2002 he made international headlines when he skippered the yacht illbruck to win the Volvo Ocean Race, after nine months of intense around-the-world racing that included surviving a bad night 50 miles off Cape Town, South Africa, with a leak that threatened to sink the boat. The 32,700-mile race was punctuated by drastic weather and some of the closest racing in the history of the event.  In addition to the overall victory, illbruck won four of the nine race legs and on the seventh leg, broke the world monohull speed record with a 484 mile 24-hour run.  As skipper, Kostecki was responsible for the selection of illbruck’s 14-person crew as well as management of the training program and onboard strategy during the race.  At the time, the team’s achievement was likened to “scaling Mt. Everest without oxygen while everyone else was hiking the Appalachian Trail."

Kostecki served as tactician on the winning Farr 40 at the 2002 Sailing World NOOD Regatta in San Francisco and on the third-place finisher at both the 2002 Farr 40 European Championships and Rolex Farr 40 Worlds.  Now an 11-time world champion in a range of one-design classes, Kostecki's leadership and sailing talents are supported by a tremendous depth of experience.  A professional sailor and two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (’88 and ’02), his tactical call aboard BMW Oracle’s 110-foot trimaran in the second match of the 2010 America’s Cup (his fifth as tactician) propelled the team to victory.  Recently, the 48-year old Kostecki won the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series raced in 45-foot catamarans as BMW Oracle prepares for a defense of its title in 2013 on the waters of San Francisco Bay.

John Kostecki with Dick Franyo

John Kostecki is inducted by Dick Franyo, President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame
(Photo credit NSHOF/George Long)  Click photo to download in high resolution

Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.), well known as the "Star of the Star class,” is a four-time Olympian who waged his first Olympic campaign in the Flying Dutchman class only to be sidelined when the US boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games.  Switching to the Star class, his bid for a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics – with crew Hal Haenel – was undone in the final race when a control line failed and the mast fell in the incredible winds and waves off Pusan, Korea, leaving Reynolds and Haenel to settle for silver.

The first American Star sailors to ever repeat as Olympic representatives, the duo kept their focus for the 1992 Olympic Regatta in Barcelona and never finished worse than third in any race.  Their consistency earned them the gold medal – and the luxury of sitting out the final race of the series.

After winning the 1995 Star World Championships in Spain, Reynolds and Haenel made their third trip to the Olympics in 1996, finishing out of the medals on the waters of Savannah, Georgia.  Reynolds then went on to make U.S. Olympic Yachting history again – with his fourth consecutive trip to the Games in the same event – when he sailed in Sydney with Magnus Liljedahl.  Having won Kiel Week, the Goldener Pfingstbusch Regatta and the 2000 Nautica Star World Championship (in a fleet of 112 boats), they entered the 2000 Olympics heavily favored to medal.  Uncharacteristically, the pair strung together finishes of 14-3-10-5-6-10 when they called the shifts wrong early in the Olympic regatta before good decisions turned into finishes of 1-2-4-1.  Assured of at least a bronze going into the 11th and final race of the series, the duo had to battle only two teams (Brazil’s defending gold medalists and Great Britain) in the bid for a better podium finish.

The drama was on when, after nearly an hour's delay for the noon start, a building 10-12 knot breeze phased in that was shifty and difficult to read.  Sailing aggressively, Brazil jumped the start and lost their golden opportunity when they failed to turn back.  Forced over early as well, Reynolds and Liljedahl immediately spun around the pin to exonerate themselves.  They rounded the top mark in second place and held it for the remainder of the race, all the while not knowing that the Brazilians had been disqualified.  They won the USA’s first sailing gold medal since 1992 – when Reynolds had last stood atop the podium with Haenel.

“It’s a huge honor to be included today with all these great sailors, all of whom I’ve looked up to, and in some cases sailed with and competed against,” said Reynolds.  “It’s particularly special to be inducted this second year, following last year’s inaugural induction with the greatest sailors in the history of the US.  I’ve been following and learning from Dennis and Lowell [2011 Inductees Dennis Conner and Lowell North] all my life at San Diego Yacht Club, and to be included with them is awesome.”

NSHOF Class of 2012-group

The 2012 class of National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees, top to bottom, left to right: Harry Morgan (accepting for Rod Stephens), Stan Reckford (accepting for John Cox Stevens), Bob Bavier (accepting for his father), Stan Honey, Bruce Kirby, Gregg Bemis, Mark Reynolds,  John Kostecki and Laurie Barrett Stone (accepting for Peter Barrett). 
(Photo credit NSHOF/George Long).  Click photo to download in high resolution

The celebration also recognized, posthumously, the contributions of five notable sailors.

Peter Barrett (1935-2000), a native of Madison, Wisconsin, was a three-time sailing Olympian well-known in international sailing circles for an act of sportsmanship at the 1960 Olympic Games in Naples, Italy, where he finished 11th in the Finn after dropping out of a race in which he believed he had fouled another competitor.  He would return four years later to win a silver medal in the Finn at the 1964 Games in Tokyo before switching to the Star in which he crewed for San Diego’s Lowell North to win gold at the 1968 Games in Mexico.  His competitive sailing career saw him win national and North American championship titles in a number of classes, and he was also a member of the crew on the winning boat in the 1971 Chicago-Mackinac Race.  Professionally, Barrett served as a contributing editor to Yacht Racing/Cruising (now Sailing World) and he designed several popular sailboats including the Aquarius 21 and 23 built by Coastal Recreation, and the Mega 30 built by C&C Yachts.  When Lowell North started his sailmaking business, he recruited Barrett as his first salesman.  Barrett would go on to become president of North Sails, which today is one of the premier sail makers in the world.  Barrett was a 1957 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where the sailing program annually awards a trophy in his name “for excellence in sportsmanship during competition.”

New Rochelle, New York’s Bob Bavier (1918-2001), sailing out of Larchmont Yacht Club, led his Williams College Sailing Team to Intercollegiate titles in 1939 and 1940 on his way to becoming one of the top sailors on the East Coast.  At the helm of Constellation, he won the America’s Cup in 1964.  He embraced the sport professionally during a career at Yachting that started with selling ads, then writing, before running the magazine as publisher.  He authored seven books on yacht racing and took leadership roles in the national governing body of the sport as well as the international federation.

F. Gregg Bemis (1900-1995), a life-long resident of Massachusetts (Cohasset and Concord) is best-known for his work on the racing rules for the sport.  His volunteer contributions include a long tenure as chairman of the national governing body’s Appeals Committee as well as a leadership role in judging at junior and intercollegiate regattas.  He was honored by the international federation (then IYRU, now ISAF) who awarded him the Beppe Croce Trophy in 1989.  The prestigious award is for an individual who has made a voluntary outstanding contribution to the sport of yachting.   A member of the Harvard class of 1922, Bemis was a national sailing champion who raced competitively into his 80s.

John Cox Stevens (1785 – 1857) is best known as the founder and first commodore (1844) of the New York Yacht Club. He was an integral member of the America syndicate which won a trophy in 1851 that is today revered as the oldest sporting trophy in history – the America’s Cup.

Roderick "Rod" Stephens, Jr. (1909–1995), a native of New York City, saw his career launched in 1931 after collaborating with his brother Olin on the construction and fitting out of Dorade which won the transatlantic race that year.  A top skipper and tactician, he was in demand as a crew and was a member of the team on Ranger which won the America’s Cup in 1937.  During World War II he was instrumental in the development of the DUKW amphibious truck for the US Army for which he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the White House.  Considered an expert in the design of rigging and fittings, he was highly regarded as a problem solver.  He was Associate Designer, and later President, of Sparkman & Stephens naval architecture and yacht design firm, a company founded in 1929 by his brother Olin Stephens and Drake Sparkman.

Background - Following a two-month period this spring during which sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, a selection committee – made up of representatives from the national governing body, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, NSHOF founding yacht clubs and the 2011 class of inductees – reviewed the broad spectrum of nominations.

Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. in the categories of Sailing, Technical/Design and Contributor (coach, administrator, sailing media).  Nominations of non-citizens were also considered if they influenced the sport in the U.S., and posthumous nominations were also accepted.  The undertaking to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing is central to the mission of the NSHOF which was formed in 2005 and has completed phase one of its plan to establish a permanent facility on the historic waterfront of Annapolis, Maryland.

For more information on the 2012 Inductees:  http://2012halloffamers.nshof.org/

About the NSHOF:  The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to:  preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture; honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing; the teaching of math, science and American history; inspiring and encouraging sailing development; and providing an international landmark for sailing enthusiasts.  The NSHOF is partnered with US SAILING and the U.S. Naval Academy, and is associated with the Herreshoff Marine Museum, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and yacht clubs throughout the country in its efforts to recognize role models of outstanding achievement.  For more information on the NSHOF, please visit:  www.nshof.org

2012 National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees (alphabetical):
Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.)
Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Gregg Bemis (Boston, Mass.)
Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.)
John Kostecki (San Anselmo, Calif.)
Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.)
Rod Stephens (New York, N.Y.)
John Cox Stevens (New York, N.Y.)

Reynolds, Mark - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Mark Jeffery Reynolds

Mark Jeffery Reynolds  

November 2, 1955 - 
Birthplace: San Diego, California


“Fifty three years later, it’s still special — I just really enjoy sailing the Star Boat.”

As a young Star sailor, Mark Reynolds says he would always have a song in his mind on the race course. One of his favorite lyrics was from Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” That could have been Reynolds mantra.

He was fated to sail Stars. His father, Jim Reynolds, won the Star World Championship crewing for Dennis Conner in 1971. But Mark Reynolds went further, becoming a skipper and winning 10 Continental Star Championships, seven Bacardi Cups, two Star North American and two Star World Championships, three Kiel Weeks, and three Olympic medals – two gold, one silver – in seven campaigns.

Reynolds has ventured away from Stars a few times. He won Kiel Week in a Flying Dutchman in 1979. In 2002, he was Farr 40 World Champion. That same year he raced the 875-mile Miami/Baltimore leg of the Volvo Race. “I got more sailing in on that leg than I normally do in a year,” he said afterwards. But his Star was always on the trailer, prepped and ready.

“Mark has always started well, been one of the quickest upwind, and he’s mentally tough as rocks,” said Steve Ericson, who crewed for Reynolds in the 2004 Olympic Class Regatta that they won. That year, Reynolds changed an old habit. He and Ericson ate lunch going upwind so he and Ericson wouldn’t miss precious downwind training. It paid off.

A sailmaker and life long resident of San Diego, Reynolds’ sails have won 13 of the last 15 Olympic medals in the Star class. “In this business, I have to be real open with everybody,” Reynolds says, “but that seems to work out. I learn from them as well, so it helps my sailing.”

At 57, Reynolds still has the touch. His latest win was in the Master category of the Zagarino Star Masters in 2012.


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Wikipedia entry for Mark Reynolds

June 28, 2004 Interview in Sailing World Magazine

Sailing Anarchy Interview with Mark Reynolds

Scuttlebutt Interview with Mark Reynolds talking about the 2016 Olympics

America3 website sailing resume for Mark Reynolds

Sports-Reference.com entry for Mark Reynolds


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Stephens, Roderick "Rod", Jr. - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


Roderick "Rod" Stephens, Jr.


August 7, 1909– January 10, 1995
Birthplace: Bronx, New York


“Don’t forget your storm sails are for storms. When it’s blowing 60, small is beautiful.”

Twenty-five years ago, a photographer who was spending the day with Rod Stephens stopped for gas. When he returned from paying the bill, Stephens had cleaned out the car of film boxes and assorted trash. Three times a day Stephens jogged up and down the 15 flights of stairs leading to the Sparkman & Stephens design office on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, and knew how many seconds it took to walk to Grand Central Station. A master of details, he had a commissioning document he shared with owners that listed every item in every drawer and cubby of Mustang, his New York 32. When customers asked for advice about naming their boats, Stephens told them to imagine they were yelling the name across a quiet, crowded harbor at midnight in hopes of raising someone to come get them.

Rod Stephens was a consummate seaman. His brother Olin designed the boats. Rod, rigger and engineer, oversaw their construction and fitting out, made sure they performed, and schooled their new owners before turning them over. It was a natural, agreeable division of labor for the Stephens brothers that began in childhood, and launched their careers with the Dorade collaboration in 1931. Dorade won the transatlantic race that year by two days. Rod became Harold Vanderbilt’s right hand man on his 12-meter, Vim, and on his America’s Cup winning Ranger in 1937. Stevens also crewed on Cup winning 12-meters Columbia and Constellation. On a boat, Rod was everywhere solving problems. In a crisis, he was always the first man up the rig.

During World War II, Stephens helped develop the DUKW, an amphibious truck, for the US Army. For this he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award presented by the White House.

At regattas, Harold Vanderbilt permitted shore leave only for tennis, not for dances or night life. Stephens, an enthusiastic dancer, would pile his evening clothes on his head and swim ashore for the festivities.

Before he died in 1995, Rod had completed 100 pages of a book. Roderick Stephens – His Book, Rod on Sailing, Lessons from the Sea, covers everything from anchors to swing tables to rigging. For an aspiring seaman, it’s as close to a Bible as sailing has to offer.


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:

Rod's book: Roderick Stephens – His Book, Rod on Sailing, Lessons from the Sea

Wikipedia entry for Rod Stephens, Jr.

New York Times Obituary for Rod Stephens, Jr.

Cruising World article tribute

Archives & Collections Society entry for Roderick Stephens, Jr.

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Stevens, John Cox - 2012 Hall of Fame | Print |


John Cox Stevens

John Cox Stevens  

September 24, 1785 – June 13, 1857
Birthplace: New York, New York


Although it would be most agreeable to me that this race should be for a cup of limited value...I am willing to stake upon the issue any sum not to exceed 10,000 guineas.

Anyone who thinks those estimable yachtsmen who wrote the Deed of Gift for the America’s Cup are rolling over in their graves because of the advent of multihull competition should reconsider. John Cox Stevens, a prime mover behind the America Syndicate in 1851, founder and first commodore of the New York Yacht Club, commissioned a catamaran in 1820. He named his boat, Double Trouble. If John Cox Stevens were with us, he might be taking issue with San Francisco Bay failing to provide “an ocean course, free from headlands” as required by the Deed, but he would surely be fascinated by the vessels of choice for 2013, smiling at how technology has enabled a concept he embraced 193 years ago.

John Cox Stevens was known as a gambler. His most outrageous gamble might have been conjuring the scheme to send the radical schooner America to England to show off American shipbuilding and design prowess, and to challenge Great Britain at its own game. Remember, that was just 37 years after the British had burned The White House during the War of 1812. Fellow America Syndicate member, George Schuyler, was said to comment that Stevens had posted a wager about the race in the Royal Yacht Squadron “with his usual promptness, and regardless of the pockets of his associates.”

One can deduce that Stevens’ gambles were well-considered. His well established colonial family was stable, comfortable; talented and accomplished. His grandfather had been a Member of Parliament. His father was shipbuilder, businessman, and inventor of steam engines. His brother founded the Stevens Institute of Technology. John Cox Stevens ran the first steam ferry company in the world on the Hudson River, and founded a railroad company in 1811. He conceived the idea of a syndicate to raise money for the America project.

The (original) America’s Cup Deed of Gift that Stevens surely had a hand in writing, is remarkable for its brevity, and its latitude. It calls simply for a competition in yachts, or vessels, between 44 and 90 feet LWL propelled by sails. John Cox Stevens was not only instrumental in giving us The America’s Cup, he helped assure its vitality.


- Roger Vaughan

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Links of Interest:


This video was played at the 2012 Induction Ceremony at Southern Yacht Club to introduce the second class of Inductees to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

About 3.5 minutes.


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