Celebrating Olin Stephens

Gary honors Olin Stephens' birthday from A to Z. From Gary Jobson's blog for April 16, 2008


Sparkman & Stephens

Olin Stephens celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend. To mark the milestone, I did a little digging to find out what some of the superstar sailors of Stephens’ day had to say about this legendary yacht designer.

Clinton Crane, author of Yachting Memories:

“Sherman (Hoyt) and I watched Olin’s development (since he was 14 or 15) as a designer and were much impressed with the thoughtfulness and originality of his work.”


Sherman Hoyt, America’s Cup veteran affiliated with Sparkman & Stephens:

“It was a pleasure to be with S&S, where I could hang my hat when I wasn’t off yachting. I believe those 20 years were the happiest of my life.”

Carleton Mitchell, Bermuda Race legend, on Stephens’ contribution to the Columbia America’s Cup campaign:


“Olin Stephens’ genius not only brought Columbia into being from a blank sheet of paper, but his skill as a sailor and attention to little things made him the principal architect of victory.”

Here’s my Olin Stephens A to Z:

A Aggressive
B Brilliant
C Courageous
D Dorade
E Excellence
F Fast
G Gracious
H Hero
I Intrepid
J J Boat (our connection to the J-Boat era)
K Keelboats
L Lightning (another Olin Stephens design)
M Mentor
N New York Yacht Club (Member #1)
O Outspoken
P Passionate
Q Quick
R Rod (brother)
S Steady
T Technology
U Uplifting
V Valiant
W Whirlwind
X X-tra
Y Yankee
Z Zen


Happy Birthday, Olin, and thank you!