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National Sailing Hall of Fame announces 2018 inductees

by Jan Harley 20 Jul 2018 06:25 PDT
Left to right, top to bottom: John Biddle, Vince Brun, George Coumantaros, Bill Koch, Ding Schoonmaker and William Webb © Media Pro International

The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the six people who will make up its 2018 class of inductees: famed yachting cinematographer John Biddle (Philadelphia, Penn./Jamestown, R.I.); three-time Soling World Champion, Brazilian-American Olympian Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.); and shipbuilder and naval architect William Webb (New York, N.Y.).

Three additional Inductees are being recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award: the late Greek-American shipping magnate and veteran offshore sailor, George Coumantaros (New York, N.Y.); businessman, noted maritime memorabilia collector and 1992 America's Cup winner, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.); and 1975 Star World Champion Ding Schoonmaker (Naples, Fla./Watch Hill, R.I.), who was not only instrumental in the founding of the US Sailing Center in Miami but also was a tireless advocate for the sport through his involvement with the national governing body, as well as the International Sailing Federation, now known as World Sailing, of which he served two terms as Vice President.

The members of the class of 2018 join 65 previously-recognized individuals as the National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by drawing attention and recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.

"On-the-water and off, the notable achievements of this group of inductees are shining examples for sailing's next generation," said Gary Jobson, President of the NSHOF. "The NSHOF is proud to recognize the legacy of these contributors, by preserving 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 a wide range 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 2018 class will be formally celebrated on Sunday, November 11, 2018, with an Induction Ceremony hosted at Lauderdale Yacht Club, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Induction Weekend has become notable as a reunion of sailing's Who's Who with attendance already confirmed by these previous Inductees: Peter Harken, Gary Jobson, John Kostecki and Tom Whidden.

The invitation only event is sponsored by VCFA Group/Dayton Carr. Additional support is provided by Rolex Watch U.S.A., CBIZ Property & Casualty, Heineken Light, Mount Gay Rum and WX Wines. The NSHOF will dedicate the 2018 Induction to the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation which is committed to educating future sailors, primarily between the ages of eight and 18.

For more on the Inductees, please visit: nshof.org/hall-of-fame

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