The newest round of names now added to the National Sailing Hall of Fame cover a range from Nathaniel Bowditch, who gave the world a new standard of navigation, to Carl Eichenlaub, who gave the world a lesson, and another and another, in how to live and give. As a mechanic, this man kept one after another US Olympic team’s boats working, and he didn’t hesitate to help out the competition, either. Because Carl loved winning, but more than that he loved the game and the people who play it. As a boat builder, he worked wonders, not the least of which was constructing Doug Peterson’s debut yacht, Ganbare, for the 1974 One Ton North Americans.
(One Tonners were a big deal at the time. Trust me on that.)
Ganbare was a San Diego-home town boat with San Diego Yacht Club hosting the NAs. The boat was a touch smaller than some of the others and definitely rougher in the finish. It had the hallmarks of a hasty backyard job, and with all the celebrity names on hand, and with all the shiny new battleships on hand, Ganbare garnered little regard. I think that’s putting it kindly. Garnered little regard, that is, until the first leg of the first race, sailed in the typical light chop off Point Loma, and the Yankee 38 that I was crewing, and every other boat in the fleet, went hobbyhorsing our way toward mark one and
Actually, every other boat in the fleet except one. Ganbare just leveled away from us, hobbyhorsing either not at all or so little that the comparison was moot. Doug Peterson’s design career was launched. At the end of the regatta, at the awards, with Peterson and Eichenlaub featuring prominently, and a lot of hair flying, one Breton red-wearing observer remarked to the Breton red-wearing fellow next to him, “They don’t look like that back East.”
Eichenlaub’s signature quote chosen by the NSHoF: “Winning sailboat races isn’t about boat handling, or tactics – you just need a faster boat.” There was also that moment when he came walking down the dock and discovered that his crew, unbeknownst to him, had given his latest Cadenza one of the very first exotic paint jobs in the history of yachting . . .
Jim Kilroy, who set a standard for how to run an international Maxi program, becomes the Hall of Fame’s first winner of a lifetime achievement award. Here’s the word:
Annapolis, Md. (July 29, 2014) – The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the eight people
who will make up its 2014 class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame: Yachtsman, historian and
senior statesman of the sport Henry H. “Harry” Anderson, Jr. (Mystic, Conn.); mathematician and navigator
Nathaniel Bowditch (Salem, Mass.); boat builder and U.S. Olympic Sailing Team boatwright Carl Eichenlaub (San
Diego, Calif.); brothers Olaf Harken and Peter Harken (both Pewaukee, Wisc.), respectively, boat builder and
sailing hardware designer; naval architect and prolific writer L. Francis Herreshoff (Bristol, R.I./Marblehead,
Mass.); 1960 5.5 Metre Olympic Gold Medalist and boat builder George O’Day (Brookline, Mass./Dover, Mass.);
and Grand Prix yachtsman John B. “Jim” Kilroy (Marina del Rey, Calif.), the recipient of the NSHOF’s first Lifetime
“When the National Sailing Hall of Fame was formed in 2005, a central piece of its mission was to focus
attention on Americans who had made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing,” said Gary Jobson,
President of the NSHOF. “The eight members of the class of 2014 are joining 34 previously-recognized
individuals whose achievements – whether on-the-water, at a drafting table or in the administration of the sport
– have impacted recreational boaters and competitive sailors alike. By recognizing them and sharing their
stories, the NSHOF is preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture while inspiring the
next generation of sailors.”
Following a two-month period this spring during which sailors from all corners of the country nominated their
choice for induction, a selection committee – made up of representatives from US Sailing, the sailing media, the
sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, a previous inductee, and the NSHOF Board – reviewed
the broad spectrum of nominations.
Inductees are American citizens, 45 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. The undertaking to recognize Americans who have
made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing is central to the mission of the NSHOF which was formed
in 2005 and has completed phase one of its plan to establish a permanent facility on the historic waterfront of
The Lifetime Achievement Award will induct 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 2014 class of inductees will be formally celebrated on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The invitation-only
Induction Ceremony will be held at the Detroit Yacht Club (Detroit, Mich.) and is sponsored by Rolex Watch
U.S.A. and Condé Nast.