SailingState/National/World

2024 America’s Cup Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The 2024 America’s Cup Hall of Fame induction ceremony will honor four outstanding individuals from diverse sailing backgrounds. Josh Belsky (USA), Bob Fisher (GBR), Kevin Shoebridge (NZL) and Juan Vila (ESP) will be celebrated at a gala event held at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona on Oct. 14 in Barcelona, Spain.

 

The Selection Committee Chair, Steven Tsuchiya, highlighted the significance of this year’s inductees, emphasizing the America’s Cup’s tradition of promoting camaraderie among nations. “We’re honoring four individuals – from four different nations – united by their genuine affection for each other and for yachting’s greatest prize,” he noted.

 

Since its establishment in 1992, the America’s Cup Hall of Fame has recognized over a 100 individuals, including crew members, designers, builders, syndicate leaders, supporters and chroniclers. Candidates are evaluated based on ability, international recognition, character, performance and contributions to the sport.

 

Executive Director Bill Lynn underscored the diverse talents of the Class of 2024. “We have a journalist, a pit man, a navigator and a genoa trimmer who are all among the best in the world at what they do – or did – and their home countries have all played a pivotal role in the history of the Cup,” he remarked.

 

Bob Fisher (GBR) (1935-2021)

 

Fisher’s sailing journey began at age two aboard a Brightlingsea One-Design. Growing up in Essex, England, his love for sailing, especially the America’s Cup, blossomed. His book, “An Absorbing Interest,” delves into Cup history. Fisher’s sailing triumphs include World Championships and Olympic trials. He later became a BBC producer and commentator, covering America’s Cup matches from 1974 to 2017. Fisher’s colorful personality and vast knowledge made him a revered figure in the sailing community, and he was featured in publications worldwide.

 

Kevin Shoebridge (NZL) (b. 1963)

Shoebridge, a four-time America’s Cup winner, is celebrated for his calm demeanor, effective communication and collaborative leadership. Affectionately known as “Shoebie,” he is currently on his 10th Cup campaign. Shoebridge began his America’s Cup journey in 1986 with the New Zealand Challenge and has since been pivotal in Team New Zealand’s triumphs. He played key roles in their historic victories in San Diego in 1995 and Auckland in 2000. As Chief Operations Officer for Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), Shoebridge has been behind groundbreaking innovations, including the development of the AC75 foiling monohull class. Under his leadership, ETNZ clinched victories in the 2017 and 2021 America’s Cups.

 

Juan Vila (ESP) (b. 1961)

 

Vila (ESP) (b. 1961) has an impressive record of 10 consecutive America’s Cup cycles, from 1992 in San Diego to the current cycle in Barcelona. With five Cup matches under his belt, he boasts victories in 2003 and 2007 with Alinghi and in 2013 with Oracle Team USA. Beginning sailing at eight, Vila specialized in navigation after graduating with a degree in civil engineering. He started his America’s Cup career with Spain’s challenges before joining Alinghi in 2003. Known for his versatility and tactical acumen, Vila played a crucial role in Alinghi’s victories. Despite setbacks, he continued his Cup journey with Oracle Team USA, securing his third win in 2013. In the current AC75 Class era, he has rejoined Alinghi Red Bull Racing for the 2024 cycle. Vila’s offshore racing achievements include winning the Ocean Race in 2002 and the Jules Verne Trophy in 2012.

 

Josh Belsky (USA) (b. 1966)

 

Belsky sailed with five America’s Cup teams, winning the Cup three times. Starting sailing at age five, he witnessed his first Cup match at eight, fueling his passion. Graduating in 1989, he entered international sailing, mentored by John Thomson Jr. Belsky’s career highlights include victories with America3, Stars & Stripes and EF Language. He closed his Cup journey with two wins with Alinghi. Beyond sailing, Belsky enjoys skiing and kite surfing.

 

The America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee, chaired by Tsuchiya, includes esteemed members such as Margherita Bottini, John S. Burnham, Brad Butterworth, William Collier, Richard Gladwell, Jack Griffin, Halsey C. Herreshoff, Tim Jeffery, Gary Jobson, Andrew Johns, Murray Jones, William H. Dyer Jones, John Lammerts van Bueren, Ken McAlpine, Elizabeth E. Meyer, Shirley Robertson, Blue Robinson, Hamish Ross, Mike Toppa, Bruno Troublé and Tom Whidden.

 

Caption: The America’s Cup Hall of Fame is located in Bristol, Rhode Island, United States.

Credit: Image courtesy of the National Sailing Hall of Fame

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