National Sailing Hall of Fame honors inductees

Virtual celebration is part of the organization’s 10th annual induction ceremony.

NEWPORT, Rhode Island—The National Sailing Hall of Fame held its 10th annual induction in a virtual format, Sept. 12. Nine sailors were honored as part of the festivities.

Those honored at the virtual induction were Henry “Hoyle” and Diane Schweitzer (California), Robert B. Haines, Jr. (California), James E. Buttersworth (London), Gordon “Sandy” Douglass (New Jersey), William K. Mattison (West Virginia), David B. Perry (Connecticut), John P. Rousmaniere (Kentucky) and Briggs S. Cunningham, Jr. (Florida).

Buttersworth and Cunningham were both honored posthumously; Cunningham was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“While Covid-19 prevented everyone from gathering in person, the virtual platform allowed friends, family and a host of Hall of Famers and VIPs to join from across the country – and the world,” National Sailing Hall of Fame staff said in a published statement.

National Sailing Hall of Fame President Gus Carlson said the nine inductees represent a wide range of accomplishments in the sailing world.

“These sailors reflect the breadth of sailing in our country, embody the commitment to excellence that few possess and provide inspiration for generations of sailors to come. Their achievements span three categories – sailing, technical and contributor – and encompass a broad spectrum of accomplishments, from historic accounts to iconic paintings, from ice boating to windsurfing, and from coaching to safety and rules,” Carlson stated. “In these challenging times we were delighted by the response to our virtual induction ceremony. Hall of Famers, sponsors and guests rose to the occasion to make this year’s induction a very memorable one for our sailing heroes.”

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Sailing President Cory Sertl were among the dignitaries who spoke during the virtual induction. Also speaking at the online event were Thistle Class President Thomas Hubbell and Mystic Seaport Museum President and CEO Steve White.

The nine new members of the Hall of Fame were introduced by sailors who were recently inducted: Stan Honey (2012); Peter Harken (2014); Bob Johnstone (2016); Tom Whidden (2017); and, Vince Brun (2019).

Other inductees participation in the virtual induction were Betsy Alison (2011), Steve Colgate (2015), JJ Fetter (2015), Malin Burnham (2016) and Bill Bentsen (2017).

A live interview of three inductees (Haines, Perry and Rousmaniere) was moderated by Gary Jobson, a National Hall of Fame inductee (2011) and board member.

The virtual event also pay homage to Harry Anderson, a 2014 inductee, and Dayton Carr, a longtime board member – both of whom passed away this year.

All nine inductees will be celebrated again in 2021, when the National Sailing Hall of Fame expects to host an in-person event. A ceremony is scheduled to be held on Sept. 10, 2021 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The National Sailing Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization; its mission is to preserve sailing’s history and celebrate the sport’s impact on American culture.

Visit for more information about the Hall of Fame and its inductees.

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