The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced Monday the nine people who will make up its 2016 class of inductees: America’s Cup winning helmsman Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.); legendary sailing champion (Star Worlds, Congressional Cup and America’s Cup) Bill Ficker (Newport Beach, Calif.); husband and wife sail training pioneers, adventurers and authors Irving and Electa “Exy” Johnson (Hadley, Mass.); brothers and J/Boats founders, Robert Johnstone (Newport, R.I.) and Rodney Johnstone (Stonington, Conn.), respectively, marketing guru and boat designer; yachtsman and sailmaker Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.); America’s Cup sailor and Star World Champion Malin Burnham (San Diego, Calif.); and the innovator behind the modern square rigged superyacht The Maltese Falcon, Tom Perkins (Belvedere, Calif.). Each inductee is also being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
These nine members of the class of 2016 will join 48 previously-recognized individuals as the National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by drawing recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.
“The achievements of this year’s group of inductees – whether on-the-water, at a drafting table, or in teaching and coaching others to succeed in the sport – have at their root a joy of sailing that has inspired and affected countless competitive sailors and recreational boaters,” said Gary Jobson, president of the NSHOF. “The NSHOF is proudly preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture while inspiring the next generation of sailors by recognizing these contributors and sharing their stories.”
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 Annapolis, Maryland.
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 2016 class of inductees will be formally celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. The invitation-only induction ceremony will be held at the St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, Calif.) and is sponsored by Condé Nast and Rolex Watch U.S.A. Anchor Steam, Dream Yachts, Hawkstone Vineyards, Mount Gay Rum, and Volvo Penta provide additional support. The NSHOF will dedicate the 2016 Induction to the AmericaOne Foundation. AmericaOne was a finalist in the challenger selection series of the 2000 America’s Cup, representing St. Francis Yacht Club. Since then, the AmericaOne foundation has been supportive of sailing on many levels, including Olympic Sailing, disabled sailing and exposing underprivileged youth to sailing.
For more on the Inductees, visit www.halloffamers.nshof.org.