SAILING NEWS – 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.
“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. “
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.
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.)