National Sailing Hall of Fame Inducts Eight Sailing Heroes

Image credit: NSHOF/Stephen Cloutier

The National Sailing Hall of Fame inducted its 2017 members at a ceremony hosted by the New York Yacht Club at the Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport on Sept. 27, 2017. The eight inductees, including three posthumous honorees, were celebrated for the impact they have had on the sport. The National Sailing Hall of Fame, dedicated to preserving the stories of sailing heroes to inspire future generations, has enshrined a total of 65 heroes of the sport.

Inductees to the National Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2017 include:

Bill Bentsen (Lake Geneva, Wisc.), a two-time Olympic medalist—bronze in 1964 and gold in 1972—who has created an indelible legacy for the sport through his contributions as a racing rules and race administration expert.

World Champion Ray Hunt (Duxbury, Mass.), a talented yacht designer of both sail and power vessels.

Boatbuilder Clark Mills (Clearwater, Fla.), best-known as the designer of the wildly popular Optimist dinghy used by children under age 16.

Windsurfing superstar Robby Naish (Haiku, Hawaii), who won his first world championship title at age 13 and went on to build a multi-million dollar watersports business.

Two-time Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist Randy Smyth (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), whose expertise as a catamaran sailor led to, among other things, work on major motion pictures.

America’s Cup sailor Tom Whidden (Essex, Conn.), who recently celebrated 30 years with global brand North Sails.

Two additional Inductees were recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award:

Avid sailor Bill Martin (Ann Arbor, Mich.), whose leadership roles in business and sailing—including the Presidency of the U.S. Olympic Committee—led to a noteworthy 10 years as Athletic Director at the University of Michigan and Corny Shields (New Rochelle/Larchmont, N.Y.), winner of the inaugural Mallory Cup which earned him national recognition on the cover of Time magazine in 1953, who conceived the Shields one-design in 1964 and founded the I.O.D. class.

Read biographies of the eight inductees on the NSHOF Class of 2017 webpage.

View more images of the ceremonies in the NSHOF shared album.

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