Rowayton resident to be inducted into National Sailing Hall of Fame
Canadian native Bruce Kirby, now a resident of Rowayton, is one of nine sailors who are members of the 2012 class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
Kirby, a newspaperman and former editor of One Design Yachtsman (predecessor to Sailing World magazine), is internationally known as the designer of the Laser, which is sailed in Olympic competition. More than 250,000 of the one-design single-person boat have been built since the early `70's. His designs also include the America's Cup 12-Metres Canada I and Canada II, as well as the Ideal 18, San Juan 24 and the Sonar, which is raced in the Paralympics.
Kirby represented Canada at the Olympic Games: sailing a Finn in 1964 and a Star in 1968. At the young age of 82, he can still be found racing a Sonar -- his favorite of the 63 boats he has designed -- out of the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien.
The inductees were chosen following a two-month period this spring during which sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, and then a selection committee -- made up of representatives from the national governing body, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, NSHOF founding yacht clubs and the 2011 class of inductees -- reviewed the broad spectrum of nominations.
Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the United States 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 United States, 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, Md.
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Emphasizing the national scope of the NSHOF, the 2012 class of inductees will be honored on Sunday, Oct. 14, during an invitation-only ceremony at Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, the second-oldest yacht club in the country.
In addition to Kirby, the National Sailing Hall of Fame 2012 inductees are: navigator Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.), winner of the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race as well as the 2010 Trophee Jules Verne for fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe; 1988 Soling Olympic silver medalist, winning Volvo Ocean Race skipper and America's Cup tactician John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.); and three-time Star Olympic medalist and two-time Star World Champion Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.).
Posthumous inductees are: Olympic gold and silver medalist Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.); America's Cup competitor and journalist Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.); preeminent rules expert Gregg Bemis (Boston, Mass.); yacht designer and Medal of Freedom winner Rod Stephens (New York, N.Y.); and founder and first commodore of the New York Yacht Club John Cox Stevens (New York, NY).
For information on the 2012 Inductees: http://2012halloffamers.nshof.org/.
The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to: preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture; honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing; the teaching of math, science and American history; inspiring and encouraging sailing development; and providing an international landmark for sailing enthusiasts.