Seven Sailors inducted into World Sailing's Hall of Fame
In 2007 the International Sailing
Federation celebrated its centenary and to mark the occasion, introduced a
Hall of Fame. Olin Stephens, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Paul Elvström, Barbara Kendall, Eric
Tabarly and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston were all inducted in the first instance.
They have been joined by seven new inspirational sailors who have been
honoured at the 2015 Annual Conference.
These individuals have made a significant impact on the water, but also with
their remarkable attitudes and dedication to sailing whilst onshore.
They have all in their own way helped shape the sport we enjoy today.
The inductees are:
If one is to think of sailors of the America's Cup, one name springs to mind
instantly – Dennis Conner. A four times winner.
Conner, known as Mr. America's Cup to you and me, has experienced the full
gamut of the cup, as the defeated, the defender and ultimately the winner of
the Cup. In 1980, Conner was credited with turning the America's Cup
into a professional competition with sailing occurring on 300 days of the
Conner has also made his mark in sailing outside of the Cup, with an incredible
28 World Championship victories and an Olympic Bronze medal from the 1976
Alessandra Sensini is the most successful female Olympic sailor in history,
with a total medal count of one Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals.
Her remarkable achievements have covered three different classes within the
windsurfer discipline. Her ability to remain at the top of her sailing
for such an extended period is tribute to her level of talent and dedication
to her sport.
Sensini was in Sanya to receive her recognition and was presented with a
unique blue World Sailing logo pennant that only inductees to the Hall of
On her induction Sensini said, "I want to thank you all because it is an honour for me to be here
today. Some years ago I received the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
Award and that was amazing for me. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is
"I want to thank ISAF
President Carlo Croce because after I stopped competing he brought me into
the Italian Federation to support and promote Youth Sailing and the new
generation. I hope that I will be able to inspire the new generation and pass
on my knowledge in the sport of sailing.”
(1884 – 1970)
Harold Vanderbilt was a man of many talents. Along with his champion
sailing, a champion bridge player (he influenced changes to the rules of game
which are still in force today), an author and a pilot.
However it was his achievements in the America's Cup J-Class boats where he
stood tall. Vanderbilt successfully defended the Cup in 1930, 1934 and
Vanderbilt was also instrumental in developing and promoting a set of racing
rules based on his experience in the America's Cup. It was through his
efforts with the assistance of other visionaries that the modern Racing Rules
of Sailing were adopted in 1960.
Sir Peter Blake (1948
Sir Peter Blake is one man who can truly be described as a legend amongst the
sailing world. The New Zealander achieved greatness in many aspects of
our sport. From leading New Zealand to victory twice in the America's
Cup, to winning the Whitbread Round the World Race and holding the Jules
Verne Trophy for the fastest sailing time around the world.
Sir Peter was also known for his efforts in promoting environmental
protection. Indeed it was his pursuit of environmental water monitoring
which took him to the Amazon River in 2001 where his life was tragically
taken during a pirate attack.
Sir Peter Blake was also the joint inaugural winner of the Rolex World Sailor
of the Year award in 1994.
The Melges name has had a massive impact on modern sailing particularly with
the family's boat building company.
Buddy has achieved competitive greatness in areas as diverse as Olympic
Sailing (Bronze medal in 1964 in the Flying Dutchman and a Gold medal in 1972
in the Soling), the America's Cup (Oldest helmsman to win at 62 years),
numerous World Championship victories in the Star and 5.5 Meter classes and
finally as an Ice Boat Champion.
His contribution in being an engaged and fierce competitor across multiple
classes as well as his ongoing development in boat design have helped shape
sailing as it is today.
Valentin Mankin (1938
Valentin Mankin who was born in the Ukraine is still the only Olympic Sailor
to have become an Olympic Champion across three different classes.
Mankin won the Gold medal in 1968 in the Finn class, Gold in 1972 in the
Tempest, as well as a Silver medal in the Tempest in 1976. He then won
Gold again in 1980 in the Star class.
Mankin is also regarded in high esteem for his work ethic, his leadership as
a mentor and for being an all round great sportsman.
Torben Grael is one of Brazil's greatest sailing exports. He is one of
only three individuals to have won five Olympic medals in sailing, including
two Bronze medals, a Silver medal and two Gold medals across two classes
(Soling and Star).
Further to this impressive record, Grael has also excelled in other areas of
sailing. He has won both the Volvo Ocean Race (as skipper of 'Ericsson
4') and the Louis Vuitton Cup (as tactition on 'Luna Rossa'). He has also won
numerous World Championships including in the Star class and 12 Meter class.
In recognition of his achievements, Grael was awarded the Rolex World Sailor
of the Year Award in 2009.
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