Press Release: Sailing World Names Class of 2005 to Hall of Fame

SW adds four to its list of the sport's most influential people

NEWPORT, RI - The nation's leading performance sailing magazine has announced four new inductees to its Hall of Fame. In its July/August issue, on newsstands July 5, Sailing World will formally add Carl Eichenlaub, Torben Grael, JJ Isler and Valentin Mankin to the prestigious roster of the sport's all-time best racing sailors, designers and innovators. Sailing World is published 10 times a year by World Publications. Carl Eichenlaub, 75, joins the Hall of Fame not only because he was an outstanding racer in his day - winning Snipe, Star and Lightning championships, including the Lightning Worlds - but also because he made a career of building boats for these classes, and his boats have been among the best, winning countless championships. From San Diego, the boatbuilder's reputation has continued to grow over the years because of what he's given back to the sport as U.S. Sailing Team shipwright at the Pan Am and Olympic Games since 1979. Not only has he been able to repair the U.S. fleet in a competent and timely way at each of these high-profile events, but his generosity and skill have been apparent to foreign competitors who have frequently been welcomed to his well-equipped portable boat shop. Torben Grael, 44, won a gold medal in the Star Class at the 2004 Olympics. The Brazilian sailor has now won five Olympic sailing medals: two gold and two bronze in the Star, and one silver in the Soling in 1984. Grael has also won the Star world championship once and the Snipe world championship twice. Yet outside of those classes, he may be best-known in the United States as the tactician of the winning Louis Vuitton Cup America's Cup boat in 2000, Luna Rossa, which beat Paul Cayard's AmericaOne before losing to Team New Zealand. Since the Olympics ended, Grael shows no signs of slowing down; he is currently preparing to helm Brasil 1 around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race. JJ Isler, 41, hails from San Diego but went east for college and raced at Yale University, making the All-America Team at a time when it was a rarity for women sailors. Since then, Isler's ability to shift gears from Olympic 470s to J/24s to 50-footers and even America's Cup racers has earned her four titles as Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. In the J/24, Isler won the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship in 1986. Racing in the 470 at the 1992 Olympics with Pam Healy, Isler won a bronze medal, and at the 2000 Games with Pease Glaser, she won a silver. Between trips to the Games she's had two daughters, co-written Sailing for Dummies with her husband, Peter, helmed a 50-footer to Key West boat of the week honors and participated a campaign as starting helmsman and tactician for Bill Koch's Mighty Mary women's team, racing in the majority of America's Cup defense-trial races. Isler is the first woman elected to the Sailing World Hall of Fame. Valentin Mankin, 67, was born in the Ukraine and raced full-time for the Soviet Union from 1955 until 1988. During that time, Mankin came as close as anyone ever has to equaling Paul Elvstrom's record of four sailing gold medals. Mankin won a gold medal in the Finn class in 1968 and a gold in the Tempest in 1972; he also won a silver in 1976, despite losing his regular crew to injury shortly before the regatta. He came back in the Star class and won his third gold medal in 1980. His record could've been even finer; he qualified for the Olympics in the Finn class in 1960 and 1964, but under the Soviet system he was passed over for sailors with more seniority. Mankin emigrated to Italy in 1988, where he remains active in the sport as an Olympic-class coach. The Sailing World Hall of Fame was started in 1982. A panel of 11 current Hall of Fame members and international sailing journalists made the selections. For information on all 50 Hall of Famers and interviews with the newest members (to be released in the coming weeks), visit the Sailing World Hall of Fame. In addition to Sailing World, World Publications produces numerous other boating, water sports and travel titles, including Cruising World, Boating Life, WaterSki and Power Cruising. World also owns the two leading boating Web sites, UsedBoats.com and NewBoats.com.