The National Sailing Hall of Fame celebrated its ninth class of inductees in early November during ceremonies at the 126-year-old Seattle Yacht Club’s Mainstation, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and located on Portage Bay.
“These Induction ceremonies are the crown jewel of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, they are why we exist, they are core to our mission of celebrating the heroes of our sport,” said Gus Carlson, President of the NSHOF in his opening remarks. “The Inductees we are honoring today cover a broad spectrum of our sport, and the influences they have had have been game changing.”
On-hand to welcome the Class of 2019 into their ranks were prior Inductees Gary Jobson, Bob Johnstone and Tom Whidden. The 10 Inductees, including eight posthumous honorees, bring to 81 the number of enshrined heroes of the sport. The National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by drawing attention and recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.
Inducted to the National Sailing Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2019: passionate sailor whose leadership in establishing safety protocols has had a global impact on offshore sailing, Capt. John Bonds (Annapolis, Md./Charleston, S.C.); founder, in 1906, of The Newport Bermuda Race Thomas F. Day (Somerset, England/New York, N.Y.); sailmaker Robbie Doyle (Marblehead, Mass.); Olympic Gold Medalist Buddy Friedrichs (New Orleans, La.); the sport’s first-ever Women’s Olympic Gold Medal-winning Skipper Allison Jolly (St. Petersburg, Fla.); clipper ship builder Donald McKay (Jordan Falls, Nova Scotia/East Boston, Mass.); the grandfather of fiberglass production, Everett A. Pearson (Warren, R.I./Estero, Fla.); pioneering yacht designer Doug Peterson (San Diego, Calif.); magazine editor and publisher Herbert Lawrence Stone (Charleston, S.C./New York, N.Y.). One additional Inductee, author and world champion sailor, Arthur Knapp, Jr. (Larchmont, N.Y.), is being recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award.
Posthumous Inductee John Bonds (1939-2010) Being born in the land-locked state of Arkansas certainly didn’t predispose Bonds to his future career as it wasn’t until he attended Rice University in Houston that his interest in boats and the sea took hold. He became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring, as Captain, in 1988. While still in service, he was appointed, in 1981, as Director of Navy Sailing at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. About the same time, he joined the Safety-At-Sea Committee of the US Yacht Racing Union (now US Sailing), merging his love of sailing with his interest in seamanship and safe sailing procedures. Through research with the Midshipmen at Navy, the Quick Stop maneuver was developed for man overboard rescues. Bonds was also instrumental in testing inflatable life jackets, and, in 1984 when he opened the Academy’s safety seminars to the public, the basis for what is now a well-respected program of Safety-At-Sea Seminars was born. Bonds would take the helm of US Sailing, as Executive Director, from 1988-1994, before taking a teaching position at The Citadel, in Charleston, having earned a Ph.D. in his 60s.
“He loved racing, he loved deliveries, he loved practicing, he loved the entire sport,” said daughter Margaret Podlich. “His infectious enthusiasm is his legacy. He did pass away abruptly on his boat, which did give us some lessons: you play hard, you find joy in every day, you do what you can to make the world a better place and above all, you go sailing every single time you can and wherever you can.”
Posthumous Inductee Thomas F. Day (1861-1927) Born in England, Day was a boy when he emigrated with his parents to New York, growing up around boats on Long Island Sound. He went to work as a manufacturer’s rep of marine hardware and small craft and by age 30 had seen the need for a magazine on boating and yachting. He founded The Rudder in 1891 and would edit it for over 30 years. During that time he actively created races to demonstrate that amateur sailors did not need large yachts to sail offshore. In 1904 he organized a 330-mile race from Sandy Hook to Marblehead; in 1905 another race from Brooklyn to Virginia. When he organized the Bermuda Race in 1906, his legacy was secured. He would go on to make longer passages – in motoryachts and under sail – and chronicle them in best-sellers, including Across the Atlantic in Sea Bird. When he retired from The Rudder in 1916, Day opened a ship chandlery in New York City.
“Writing has propelled the sport, sustained the sport, and often revived the sport,” said author John Rousmaniere in saluting Day, described as one of the dominating figures in yachting of his time. “Tom Day’s Bermuda Race will be over 100 years old next year. The organizers expect as many 250 boats sailed by 2,000 men and women. This is one of the many reasons why we can agree with Tom Day’s peers, that he was the dominant figure in the annals of yachting.
Inductee Robbie Doyle (1949- ) When his father signed Doyle and his siblings up for sailing lessons, it most likely set his course for his life. As a young teen, Doyle won two junior national championships and then focused on campaigning a Finn with hopes of making the 1968 Olympic Team. He narrowly missed qualifying but was selected as an alternate and tuning partner for the Team, giving him experience sailing Stars, the Flying Dutchman and Dragons. Doyle attended Harvard University, where he was a three-time ICSA All-American while earning his undergrad degree studying applied physics with a focus on fluid flow. When Ted Hood recruited him to make sails, his plan to pursue medicine was temporarily put on hold until an offer to sail in America’s Cup made the decision permanent. Doyle Sails was launched in 1982 with a high-tech approach to sail making. From successful sail designs to developing programs that predict and analyze sail loads, Doyle Sailmakers grew from its Massachusetts roots into a company with 80 lofts in 30 countries and has become a leader in building sails for megayachts. Doyle sold the company in 2017 and continues sailing offshore while managing the loft in Salem, Massachusetts.
“This is a truly humbling experience,” said Doyle. “The person that perhaps had the most influence on me and sucked me into the industry was Peter Barrett. His warm personality and true love of sailing and the science behind it was very inspiring. There is a saying by Sir Isaac Newton: I can see farther because I stand on the shoulders of giants. While my association with the likes of Lowell North, Ted Hood and Ted Turner certainly helped me see further, my success is really based on standing on the shoulders of those not so famous around me. There is another quote, that could be attributed to many, which is perhaps the driving force in my life: where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity. There are many key people, including owners and naval architects, who put their faith in me – and continue to do so – even when early execution was far from perfect. I feel fortunate to be here today.”
Posthumous Inductee Buddy Friedrichs (1940-1991) got his start in the sport at age 10 at Southern Yacht Club (SYC) in New Orleans and continued sailing while attending Tulane University (class of 1962). After college, and while starting on his career as a stockbroker, he dominated on-the-water in one-design classes, amassing national championship titles in the Luders 16 as well as winning the 1964 Star Class North American Championship. When SYC formed a syndicate to support an Olympic campaign in the Dragon class, Friedrichs was tapped to be the skipper. The three-time North American Dragon Champion (1965–1967), he also won the 1965 Canadian and 1966 European championships. Back-to-back World Championship titles (1966 in Copenhagen and 1967 in Toronto) were major benchmarks on the way to the 1968 Olympic Regatta in Acapulco where Friedrichs won the gold medal with crew Barton Jahncke and Click Schreck. The three had gone from competing against each other to working as a team to bring SYC its second gold medal. Friedrichs was often atop of the podium in larger boats as well, winning the annual Gulfport to Pensacola Race seven times, and the 1987 Phoenix Cup Offshore Championship among others. He died unexpectedly at age 51 after a heart attack.
“My father was a fierce competitor and true Corinthian,” said son Shelby Friedrichs, who was accompanied by over 20 family members, friends, and Southern Yacht Club supporters, all on hand to honor Friedrichs legacy and celebrate his Induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. “Over the years there were many people who sailed with my father. Each has a story to tell and a lesson they learned. The crew were a very important part of my father’s sailing story. I was 18 years old when my father passed away. However, his legacy has never died. Thank you to every person who has stopped to tell me and my family a story about the race to the finish, the victorious regatta, or just the everyday moment they spent with my father. This helps keep his legacy and his sailing alive for all of us… He had a great work-hard play-hard philosophy regarding life. The gold medal may have been my father’s proudest accomplishment, but as the son of a sailor, my proudest moment is accepting this on his behalf.”
Inductee Allison Jolly (1956- ) Jolly started early in the sport, at age 10, and by the time she graduated from the University of Florida, with a degree in chemistry, she had won the Women’s College Sailing Nationals in 1975 and 1976, among other titles. When the first-ever women only sailing event (the 470 Womens) was announced for the 1988 Olympic Games, Jolly teamed with Lynn Jewell to win the opportunity to represent the USA in Korea. The sailing event, held in Pusan, became notable for the conditions. Touted as a light breeze venue, the sailing events in Pusan were the windiest ever experienced at the Games. Jolly and Jewell led through the first four races and then were disqualified in race five, requiring them to finish 14th or better to secure the gold medal. When the jib fell in the final race, it appeared the gold would be lost until the duo managed to make a repair despite the huge seas and high winds. Taking a big risk, they were the only team to fly a spinnaker in the extreme conditions; the move propelled them to the top spot on the podium and a place in history. Jolly continued racing and holds numerous titles. She became a sailing coach at the University of South Florida in 2004 and is in her 15th season with the Bulls. Next weekend she will be back on the water in St. Petersburg, coming full circle by teaching an adult learn to sail class to eight beginners.
“You can’t imagine how honored and humbled I am to be in this group of sailors,” said Jolly. “I began sailing in Prams in St. Pete and immediately fell in love with the sport. I liked the unique emphasis on both athletic and academic skills. My dad tried to derail my sailing because I was too passive. I let people in at the mark. I didn’t want to have any confrontations. He actually threatened to take me out of the sport. I realized I needed to make a change. And that was to surround myself with people who could provide the tools that I needed to be successful, the ones I lacked. I’ve been so fortunate to find those crews, coaches, mentors, not necessarily sailing mentors, and friends, and family, on and off the water, who just enhanced my limited skills and have been an amazing complement to what I brought to the sport. There are too many to thank… Thank you for this incredible honor.”
Posthumous Inductee Donald McKay (1810-1880) was born in Nova Scotia, coming to New York in 1826, where he worked for shipbuilders Brown & Bell and Isaac Webb. In 1841, he opened his first yard in Newburyport, Massachusetts, later locating in East Boston in 1845 where he built packet ships that carried emigrants to the USA. A master ship designer and builder, his goal was to get cargo and passengers across oceans quickly and, for a brief period of time, his boats were the fastest on the ocean. Among the most memorable was Flying Cloud, whose sailing speed record stood for over a century.
“We are honored that he is being recognized for what he brought to sailing,” said descendant Dave McKay.
Posthumous Inductee Everett Pearson (1933-2017) Pearson received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Brown University (class of 1955), where he was Captain of the Football Team. He got into the boat building business, building dinghies in a garage using new and untested methods of construction with fiberglass. As one of the first U.S. builders of fiberglass sailboats, he would come to be considered one of the best production sailboat builders. The 28.5 Pearson Triton and 22.5 Pearson Ensign (among other models) were among the most popular keelboats in the 1960s in the U.S., and every J/Boat he built won Boat of the Year honors. Of the 26 boats currently in the American Sailboat Hall of Fame, five were built by Pearson: the Triton, Ensign, J/24, J/35, and the Freedom 40. In 1968, he continued his boatbuilding and fiberglass work with Tillotson-Pearson Inc. and built – among other things – wind blades, all-composite bus bodies, test track vehicles for Disney Imagineering, and J Boats, at one point building six boats a day. As co-founder of Sail America (SA), and later as a co-founder of Sail Expo, he was instrumental in promoting the sailing industry.
“Thank you for bestowing this honor on Dad,” said son, Mark Pearson. “Whenever he did something he jumped in with both feet, no matter what it was. His faith, his family, his friends and his business. When you got Everett Pearson, you got all of him. There was one that thing that he was very proud of and meant a lot to him. After a conversation with Harry Horgan, who had a dream to get handicapped people out on the water, Everett agreed to build the boat if Harry would build the organization. The boat was the Freedom Independence. The organization was Shake-A-Leg. Soon after, they had a design meeting and Everett told Harry the lawyers didn’t think they should build the boat because there was too much liability. Everett’s response was that even the handicapped deserved to get hurt, and so they built the boat. At the conclusion of the first regatta, a collegiate football player came up to my father and talked about the adrenaline rush that you get during a game and that he used to have, but after his injury that was taken away from him. Today you gave it back to me and I want to say thank you. Dad didn’t want the accolades, he wanted someone else to benefit. On behalf of the family, thank you very much, we appreciate it.”
Posthumous Inductee Doug Peterson (1945-2017) In the 1970s and early ’80s, Peterson was one of the world’s top yacht designers and possibly the top racing yacht designer of the period. Considered a free thinker, and free spirit, he blended the art and science of sailing in his prolific designs that won virtually every significant racing title, including the Southern Ocean Racing Conference and the Admiral’s Cup, as well as two America’s Cups (America3 in 1992 and Black Magic in 1995). He was largely self-taught, borrowing money from his grandmother to build his first design, Ganbare, on spec. Ganbare won the One Ton North American Championship in 1973 and put Peterson on the map.
“My siblings and I are so grateful for this Induction,” said daughter Laura Peterson. “It’s such a wonderful honor to our father and a great way to continue the celebration of his life.”
Posthumous Inductee Herbert Lawrence Stone (1871-1955) Stone spent much of his childhood in New York, summering in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he learned to sail in Cape Cod bays. After being diagnosed with a lung disease, Stone went to sea at age 17. He made several voyages on the schooner Hattie Weston under the command of Captain Josiah Morton. On January 1, 1907, the first issue of Yachting hit the stands. A year later he became the magazine’s second editor, continuing through ownership changes, until 1952. Stone was passionately dedicated to a lifelong career promoting sailing. In 1922, he became one of the founding members of the Cruising Club of America and served as its second commodore in 1923. His influence helped steer that club to a preeminent position in international yachting.
“Throughout every decade of his life, he made an impact on the sport,” said granddaughter Katherine Stone Nichol. “Although he consorted with the kings of sailing, his heart and loyalty remained with the small boat yachtsman. The first issue of Yachting hit the stands in 1907. Herb was appointed as the managing editor the next year, and for the next 44 years served as the guiding spirit of the magazine. Despite resistance, Stone entirely is responsible for the revival and healthy growth of the Newport Bermuda race in 1923. He believed there was nothing that developed all around seamanship and resourcefulness as much as long-distance ocean racing that kept contestants going night and day. He was the father of American ocean racing… the voice of the yachtsman from dinghies to ocean going racers.”
Posthumous Inductee Arthur Knapp, Jr. (1907-1992) is also a recipient of the NSHOF 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Knapp started sailing at the young age of six on the waters of Long Island Sound, moving, within a few short years, from the 12’ Butterfly to the 22’ Star class. He would go on to win the Star World Championships twice, in 1924 as crew, and in 1930 as skipper. College sailing was in its infancy when Knapp was attending Princeton University, where he founded the Princeton Sailing Team in 1928 – the same year he was the winning helmsman in the school’s first intercollegiate regatta, against Harvard and Yale, sailed in 8-Metres. After Princeton, and until his retirement in the mid ‘70s, he was a broker on the New York Stock Exchange, while his avocation of sailing made him a leading figure in U.S. and international yachting circles. He won national sailing titles in the 5.5 Metre and Shields classes; was a member of the winning America’s Cup team aboard Ranger in 1937; and was the co-founder of the Frostbite Yacht Club in 1932. The long-time resident of Larchmont, N.Y., also dominated the winter sailing scene as a 14-time winner of Larchmont Yacht Club’s annual frostbite series (1946-1996). In 1952 Knapp translated his knowledge and experience into print, authoring Race Your Boat Right.
“He always believed that you did something for a reason, but that you could always learn, and try and do better, and learn more,” said grandson Phil Engle. “That led to him saying to me, at age 70, I’ve learned a different way to pack a spinnaker so let’s give it a shot. It also led to some interesting experiments offshore, like sorting the newspapers so you could grab all the New York Times because it burnt hotter and was better to cook a steak. Or cooking a bluefish in the dishwasher. That was him. He loved racing and loved the competition. He would truly cherish this. And I would like to thank everyone involved.”
Sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, after which the selection committee reviewed a wide range of nominations to determine the members of this class of Inductees. Nominations are accepted year-round at nominate.nshof.org, with March 31 as the cutoff for nominating someone for the current year. Inductees are American citizens, 55 years of age or older, 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, with a mandate (as of 2019) that three Inductees be deceased for 60 years or more as part of an effort to specifically recognize the forefathers of American sailing who helped shape the sport we know today.
The Lifetime Achievement Award inducts an American citizen, 55 years of age or older, who has had consistent involvement in sailing for a majority of his or her life and had success in the sport while also becoming successful and achieving noteworthy stature in a non-sailing career.
The undertaking to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport is central to the mission of the NSHOF which was formed in 2005 in Annapolis, Maryland. Earlier this year, the organization purchased the historic Armory on the waterfront in Newport, R.I. In a building that once served as the press center for the America’s Cup, a home to honor the heroes of American sailing will be created; preserving the sport’s past while engaging the next generation in its future. Interactive educational exhibits will provide real-world applications of STEAM concepts that come alive through sailing; and visitors of all ages, non-sailors and sailors alike, will experience the magic that happens when wind and water meet. Before the exhibits are installed, the NSHOF Class of 2020 Inductees will be celebrated in the newly restored building on September 12, 2020.