Twelve Inductees Headed to National Sailing Hall of Fame

Twelve new inductees will be called into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in October.
National Sailing Museum and Sailing Hall of Fame 2024 Inductees
National Sailing Museum and Sailing Hall of Fame 2024 Inductees. Top row: Carl Alberg, Kevin Burnham, Conn Findlay, Eric Hall, Ben Hall, Pete Melvin; Bottom Row: Allegra Mertz, Gary Mull, Jan C. O’Malley, Dick Tillman, Butch Ulmer, Franklin Wood. National Sailing Museum and Hall of Fame

The Sailing Museum and National Sailing Hall of Fame has announced the names of 12 individuals who will be inducted into its fellowship of hall of famers this year. This diverse list includes Jan C. O’Malley, a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year, two-time Adams Cup winner, and the first ever winner of the IYRU Women’s World Sailing Championship; Peter Melvin, a multiple-class world and national champion, as well as an innovative yacht designer; and Charles Ulmer, a national champion and race winner throughout the 1970s and 80s and proponent of the sport of sailing through the many organizations through which he has been affiliated.

The National Sailing Hall of Fame induction committee met numerous times since nominations were gathered, eventually whittling down the original list to a slate of individuals to be inducted this year. While their biographies differ, they have this in common: They are all accomplished and dedicated to the sport and its community. Ten fall into the modern category, while another two represent historic classification.

Honored for technical accomplishment and contribution are brothers Eric Hall and Ben Hall, the late Gary Mull, one of the most prolific and successful U.S. sailboat designers working in the latter half of the 20th century, and the late Carl Alberg, whose 56 designs resulted in more than 10,000 boats.

Others to be inducted in the modern classification in the sailing category are Kevin Burnham, an Olympic and Goodwill Games medalist in sailing; Conn Findlay, a consummate crew member for America’s Cup competitor Courageous and Maxi Ocean Racer Windward Passage, and one of the few competitors to medal in two distinct sports (Rowing and Sailing); and Richard Tillman, the 1965 Sailor of the Year who held National, North American and World titles in the Snipe, Finn, Laser, Sunfish and Windsurfing classes. Franklin Wood, who founded the Annapolis Sailing School and established the Annapolis Sailboat Show, rounds out the modern classification in the contributor category.

Allegra Mertz, one of the two women to be inducted with O’Malley, was elected through the historic classification, along with Alberg.

“The Class of 2024 has left an indelible mark on sailing. Their achievements inspire us to explore, innovate and honor the sport. From Olympic champions to boat designers, they remind us that sailing is more than a pastime; it’s a legacy of courage and possibility,” co-chair Gary Jobson notes. “Trailblazers like Allegra Mertz, whose skill, determination and love of racing continues to inspire fellow sailors and set a high standard for excellence. Innovators such as Ben and Eric Hall, whose cutting-edge materials and championship-winning rigs have pushed innovation. These inductees are a formidable group. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments on October 5 at the 2024 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club.”