On This Day

Yachting in History

Events in Sport

Sports History

1661-10-01 Yachting begins in England as King Charles II beats his brother James, Duke of York in a yacht race from Greenwich to Gravesend

  • 1844-07-30 1st US yacht club - NY Yacht Club organized by John Cox Stevens and 8 friends aboard the Gimcrack
  • 1848-06-06 New York Yacht Club holds its first annual regatta; won by the schooner Carnelia
  • 1851-08-22 100 Guineas Cup is raced around Isle of Wight; US schooner 'America' beats British cutter 'Aurora' by 24 minutes; first competition for the America's Cup yachting trophy

Sports History

1853-09-24 1st round-the-world trip by yacht (Cornelius Vanderbilt)

  • 1866-12-11 1st yacht race across Atlantic Ocean; schooners Fleetwing, Vesta and the Henrietta, with NY playboy Gordon Bennett on board, leave Sandy Hook for the Scilly Isles (the Henrietta wins)
  • 1866-12-23 First yacht race across the Atlantic won by the schooner Henrietta owned by Gordon Bennett of New York, first to reach Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles after racing from NY
  • 1870-08-08 1st America's Cup: New York Yacht Club’s first defence of America’s Cup; 'Magic' (NYYC) defeats 'Cambria' (Royal Thames YC, England; finishes 8th) and 16 fellow defenders from NY Harbour to Sandy Hook Light Vessel on the Atlantic and return (38 miles)
  • 1871-10-23 Replacement yacht Sappho (US) beats Livonia (UK) by 25:27 in race 5 to win 3rd America's Cup off Newport, RI 4-1; original defender Columbia damaged so misses races 4 & 5
  • 1885-09-16 5th America's Cup: Puritan (NY Yacht Club) beats Genesta (Royal Yacht Squadron, Isle of Wight, UK) by 1:38 for 2-0 series win
  • 1886-09-11 6th America's Cup: Mayflower (NY Yacht Club) beats Galatea (Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, Scotland) for 2-0 series victory
  • 1887-09-30 8th America's Cup: New York Yacht Club’s cutter Volunteer beats Scottish challenger Thistle by 11:48.75 seconds on corrected time to win series, 2-0 off Newport, RI
  • 1894-02-03 1st US steel sailing vessel, Dirigo, launched at Bath, Maine
  • 1899-10-20 American yacht Columbia beats the Shamrock challenge from Royal Ulster Yacht Club in 11th America's Cup
  • 1900-05-25 Retired London fire master Eyre Massey Shaw aged 70 reputedly becomes oldest gold medalist in Olympics for sailing (disputed)
  • 1901-10-04 Charlie Barr skippered Columbia (US) beats Shamrock II (UK), 3-0 on New York City Harbour in 11th America's Cup yachting challenge series
  • 1903-09-03 American yacht Reliance (largest gaff-rigged cutter ever built) defends America's Cup for the NYYC beating UK challenger Shamrock III off the New Jersey shore for a 3-0 series win
  • 1920-11-01 American fishing schooner 'Esperanto' defeats Canadian yacht 'Delawana' in the first International Fishing Schooner Championship Races off Halifax, Nova Scotia

1st Winter Olympics

1924-02-04 Jacob Tullin Thams of Norway wins ski jumping gold at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; in 1936 he earns a silver medal in sailing at Berlin Summer Games

  • 1937-08-09 Ranger (US) easily beats Endeavour II (England) in race 4 to wrap up the 17th America's Cup yachting series, 4-0; it's the final competition for 21 years
  • 1953-08-12 Ann Davison arrives in Miami in her 23 foot boat Felicity Ann, becoming the 1st woman to sail solo across the Atlantic
  • 1956-12-05 Danish yachtsman Paul Elvstrøm wins the Finn class gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics; his 2nd straight Finn gold and 3rd consecutive Olympic gold in sailing
  • 1960-09-07 Danish yachtsman Paul Elvstrøm wins the Finn class at the Rome Olympics; his 4th straight Olympic gold medal in the category
  • 1960-09-07 Future Constantine II, last King of Greece, wins Dragon class sailing gold medal at the Rome Olympics
  • 1962-09-15 Australia's 1st entry in America's Cup yacht race (US wins)
  • 1964-09-20 20th America's Cup yachting: Eric Ridder skippered Constellation beats English challenger Sovereign for a 4-0 American series sweep off Newport, RI
  • 1965-06-01 Robert Manry begins his 78 day voyage to sail a 13.5-foot yacht "Tinkerbelle" across the Atlantic Ocean

Sports History

1969-04-22 Robin Knox-Johnston ends 312 days of non-stop sailing to become the 1st person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe

  • 1983-09-26 Australia II wins America's Cup yacht race - 1st non-US winner

Olympic Gold

1984-08-08 Future 5-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts of New Zealand wins the Finn Class sailing gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics

  • 1987-02-03 SD Yacht Club celebrates return of America's Cup
  • 1989-02-12 Thursday's Child sets sailing record, NY-Cape Horn-SF, 80 d 20 h
  • 1989-04-07 NY Supreme Court takes America's Cup away from SD Yacht Club for using a catamaran against NZ. Appeals court eventually overrules
  • 1999-10-31 Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.
  • 2000-03-02 America's Cup, Auckland: Team New Zealand beats Italian yacht Prada Challenge by 0.48s for a 5-0 series sweep; NZ only the 2nd country in 150 years to successfully defend the Cup
  • 2003-03-02 America's Cup, Auckland: Swiss yacht Alinghi beats Team New Zealand by 0.44s to sweep series, 5-0; Alinghi's Russell Coutts wins last 14 America's Cup races he's competed in as skipper; most in history
  • 2005-02-07 Britain's Ellen MacArthur becomes the fastest person to sail solo around the world taking 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes 33 seconds
  • 2010-05-15 Jessica Watson at age 16 becomes the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world

Olympic Gold

2016-08-18 New Zealand's 2017 America's Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling teams with Blair Tuke to win the gold medal in the 49er class sailing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

  • 2021-03-17 America's Cup, Auckland: Emirates Team New Zealand beats Italian yacht Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli by 46s in race 10 for a 7-3 series victory and retain the cup

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1848-03-18 Nathaniel Herreshoff, America Cup yacht designer
  • 1848-12-12 William Kissam Vanderbilt, American businessman, born in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York (d. 1920)
  • 1850-05-10 Thomas Lipton, Scottish yachtsman (5-time America's Cup challenger) and tea merchant (Lipton Tea), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1931)
  • 1878-12-25 William Starling Burgess, American yacht designer (America's Cup yachts "Enterprise", "Rainbow", "Ranger") and aviation pioneer, born in Boston Massachusetts (d. 1947)
  • 1884-07-06 Harold Vanderbilt, American yachtsman and America's Cup winner (1930, 34, 37), born in Oakdale, New York (d. 1970)
  • 1892-01-13 Paul Smart, American yachtsman (Olympic gold 1948)
  • 1894-05-11 Florimond Cornellie, Belgian sailor (Olympic gold 1920)
  • 1899-01-03 Johan Hin, Dutch yachtsman (Olympic gold 12' dinghy 1920), born in Harlem, Netherlands (d. 1957)
  • 1900-05-28 Owen Aisher, English businessman and president (Royal Yachting Association 1970-75), born in Bulford, Wiltshire (d. 1993)
  • 1905-09-28 William Northam, Austrian yachtsman (Olympic gold 1964)
  • 1906-01-29 Franciscus Hin, Dutch yachtsman (Olympic gold 1920)
  • 1906-04-01 Sigve Lie, Norwegian sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1948, 52), born in Haugesund, Norway (d. 1958)
  • 1907-08-13 Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, German arms manufacturer and Olympic yacht competitor, born in Essen, Germany (d. 1967)
  • 1909-05-31 Thor Thorvaldsen, Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic gold dragon class 1948, 52), born in Bamble, Norway (d. 1987)
  • 1910-09-20 Jacques-Baptiste LeBrun, French finn yachtsman (Olympic gold 1932), born in Paris (d. 1996)
  • 1917-11-02 Durward Knowles, Bahamas yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1968), born in Nassau, Bahamas (d. 2018)
  • 1918-05-25 Peder Lunde Sr., Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic silver 1952), born in Nordstrand, Norway (d. 2009)
  • 1922-04-01 Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, American yachtsman (America's Cup 1962 [Weatherly], 1967 [Intrepid]), born in White Plains, New York (d. 1997)
  • 1925-04-10 Bernard Moitessier, French sailor, vagabond and author who famously led the 1st non-stop, singlehanded, round the world yacht race before sailing a 2nd lap of the world back to Tahiti, born in Saigon, French Vietnam (d. 1994)
  • 1926-08-17 Hakon Barfod, Norwegian sailor (Olympic gold 1948, 52), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2013)
  • 1926-12-12 Laurie Davidson, New Zealand yacht designer (Black Magic 1995; Team New Zealand 2000; America's Cup HOF 2007), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2021)
  • 1927-06-12 Timir Pinegin, Russian sailor (Olympic gold 1960), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2013)
  • 1928-02-25 Paul Elvstrøm, Danish yachtsman (4 Olympic gold, Finn class 1948, 52, 56, 60), born in Hellerup, Denmark (d. 2016)
  • 1928-06-16 John Cuneo, Australian sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1972), born in Bulimba, Queensland, Australia (d. 2020)
  • 1929-11-17 Edgar White, American yachtsman (Olympic gold 1952)
  • 1929-11-17 Sumner White, US yachtsman (Olympic gold 1952), born in NYC, New York (d. 1988)
  • 1929-12-02 Lowell North, American yachtsman (Olympic Gold 1968) and sailmaker (North Sails), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2019)
  • 1930-01-26 Buddy Melges, American sailor (Olympic gold Soling 1972; 5 x world champion; America's Cup skipper, America3 1992), born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin
  • 1931-07-24 Éric Tabarly, French Navy officer and yachtsman, born in Nantes, France (d. 1998)

Hobart "Hobie" Alter

1933-10-31 Hobart "Hobie" Alter, American surf and sailing entrepreneur and pioneer who created the Hobie Cat, born in Ontario, California (d. 2014)

  • 1936-03-19 Ben Lexcen, Australian yacht designer (Australia II 1983 America's Cup), born in Boggabri, Australia (d. 1988)
  • 1937-06-28 Georgios Zaimis, Greek sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1960), born in Piraeus, Attiki, Greece (d. 2020)
  • 1938-04-22 Alan Bond, Australian businessman and yachting syndicate owner (America's Cup 1983), born in London, England (d. 2015)
  • 1938-08-19 Valentin Mankin, Ukrainian yachtsman (Olympic gold, USSR, Finn class 1968), born in Kyiv, Ukraine (d. 2014)
  • 1938-09-08 Kenichi Horie, Japanese adventurer and solo yachtsman, born in Osaka, Japan
  • 1939-01-15 Tony Bullimore, British yachtsman (1997 solo around-the-world yacht race, dramatic rescue), born in Southend-on-Sea, England (d. 2018) [1]

Robin Knox-Johnston

1939-03-17 Robin Knox-Johnston, British yachtsman who completed the 1st single non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 1969, born in London, England

  • 1942-02-09 Peder Lunde Jr, Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic gold 1960), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1943-08-04 Rodney Stuart Pattison, British yachtsman (Olympics)
  • 1943-08-26 Ulf Sundelin, Swedish yachtsmen (Olympic gold 5.5m class 1968; World C'ship gold Dragon class 1971, 5.5m class 1986), born in Nacka, Sweden
  • 1944-06-02 Poul Jensen, Danish sailor (Olympic gold 1976, 80)
  • 1945-03-15 Jörgen Sundelin, Swedish yachtsmen (Olympic gold 5.5m class 1968; World C'ship gold Dragon class 1971), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1945-07-03 Iain MacDonald-Smith, English yachtsman (Olympic gold Flying Dutchman 1968), born in Oxford, England
  • 1946-02-17 Valdemar Bandolowski, Danish sailor (Olympic gold Soling class 1976, 80), born in Esbønderup, Denmark
  • 1946-04-17 Clare Francis, British yachtswoman and novelist (Come Hell or High Water), born in Thames Ditton, Surrey
  • 1947-01-13 Peter Sundelin, Swedish yachtsmen (Olympic gold 5-5m class 1968; World C'ship gold Dragon class 1971), Nacka, Sweden

Peter Blake

1948-10-01 Peter Blake, New Zealand yachtsman (Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90; America's Cup 1995, 2000) and Special Envoy UN Environment Program, born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2001)

  • 1950-11-11 Rex Samuel Sellers, Tornado class sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1953-04-07 Everard Endt, American sailor (Olympic gold 1952)
  • 1954-05-21 Bill Abbott, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • 1955-04-25 Joanne Abbott, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • 1955-08-27 Roderick Hopkins Davis, yachting Star class (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1955-11-02 Mark Reynolds, American yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1992, 2000), born in San Diego, California
  • 1956-12-21 Kevin Burnham, American sailor (Olympic gold 470 class 2004; silver 470 1992), born in Hollis, New York City (d. 2020)
  • 1958-05-09 Esko Rechardt, Finnish yachtsman (Olympic gold 1980)
  • 1958-10-18 Hal Haenel, star sailor (Olympic 8th 1988, 92, 96), born in St Louis, Missouri
  • 1959-11-21 Colin Beashel, Australian star sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1960-03-27 Steve Jarvin, Australian soling sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Sydney
  • 1960-07-06 Caroll-Ann Alie, Canadian sailor (Olympics-14-92, 96), born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1960-12-30 Addy Bucek, Australian 470 class sailor (Olympics-9-92, 96)
  • 1961-10-18 Eric Jespersen, Port Alberni BC, star sailor (Olympic bronze 1992, 96)
  • 1961-10-31 Christine Bridged, Australian European class sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne Australia

Russell Coutts

1962-03-01 Russell Coutts, New Zealand yachtsman (Olympic gold Finn Class 1984, America's Cup 5 x winner), born in Wellington, New Zealand

  • 1962-11-14 Morgan Reeser, American 470 sailor (Olympics-8th-1992, 96), born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • 1964-09-15 Andrew Landenberger, Australian tornado sailor (Olympic bronze 1992, 96)
  • 1964-11-27 David Giles, Australian sailor (Olympics-84, 88, 92, 96)
  • 1965-01-04 Mitch Booth, Australian tornado sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1965-01-24 Ross MacDonald, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in British Columbia, Canada
  • 1965-04-27 Courtenay Becker-Dey, American Europe class sailor (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Greenwich, Connecticut
  • 1965-11-25 Mike Gebhardt, mistral sailor (Olympic 6th 1996), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • 1967-05-23 Craig John Monk, finn class sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1967-08-30 Barbara Kendall, New Zealand mistral sailor (Olympic gold 1992, silver 1996, bronze 2000), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1967-10-11 Charles Ogletree, American tornado sailor (Olympic 8th 1996), born in Greenville, North Carolina
  • 1968-01-15 Steve McConaghy, Australian soling sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1968-11-20 Richard Clarke, Canadian sailor Finn (Olympics 1996), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1969-01-19 Andrew Murray Stone, New Zealand sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1969-04-11 J Nick Adamson, Freeport Bahamas, US laser sailor (Olymp-21st-1996)
  • 1969-04-25 Nir Shental, Israeli Men's 470 sailor (Olympic 15th-1996), born in Jaffa, Israel
  • 1969-06-04 Tine Moberg-Parker, Canada Europe class sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1969-06-30 Kristina Farrar Stookey, American 470 sailor (Olympic 4th 1996), born in Martha Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • 1970-04-29 William Martin III, American finn sailor (Olympics 23rd-1996), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1970-05-27 Michael Blackburn, Australian laser sailor (Olympic bronze 2000), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1970-06-03 Lanee Butler, American mistral sailboat sailor (Olympics-11th-1996), born in Manhasset, New York
  • 1970-07-04 Louise Van Voorhis, American 470 sailor (Olympic 4th 1992, 96), born in Rochester, New York
  • 1970-08-04 Owen McMahon, Australian 470 class sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1971-04-08 Marc Peers, Canadian tornado sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1971-05-13 Hamish Pepper, New Zealand laser single handed sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1971-06-04 Roy Janse, tornado sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1971-10-07 Paul Hannam, Canadian 470 sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1972-01-07 Aaron John Mcintosh, New Zealand sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1972-08-03 Alain Bolduc, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1973-02-08 Tom King, Australian 470 class sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1973-08-05 Brendan Todd, Australian mistral sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1974-01-17 Sharon Marie Ferris, New Zealand sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Scarborough, Canada
  • 1975-06-30 Natasha Sturgess, Australian mistral sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1976-12-17 Andrew Simpson, Chertsey, Surrey, sailor (Olympic gold 2008), (d. 2013)
  • 1981-08-26 Jesse Martin, German- Australian yachtsman (youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe at 18), born in Dachau, Germany

Peter Burling

1991-01-01 Peter Burling, New Zealand sailor (Olympic gold 49er class 2016, silver 2012, 20; helmsman America's Cup 2017, 21; ISAF World Sailor of the Year 2015, 17), born in Tauranga, New Zealand


Deaths in Sport

  • 1909-11-14 Joshua Slocum, Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, departs from Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, sailing south for the winter, and is lost at sea, at 65
  • 1931-10-02 Thomas Lipton, Scottish yachtsman (5-time America's Cup challenger) and tea merchant (Lipton Tea), dies at 81
  • 1947-03-19 William Starling Burgess, American yacht designer (America's Cup yachts "Enterprise", "Rainbow", "Ranger") and aviation pioneer, dies at 68
  • 1957-06-29 Johan Hin, Dutch yachtsman (Olympic gold 12' dinghy 1920), dies at 58
  • 1958-03-18 Sigve Lie, Norwegian sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1948, 52), dies at 51
  • 1967-07-30 Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, German arms manufacturer and Olympic yacht competitor, dies at 59
  • 1970-07-04 Harold Vanderbilt, American yachtsman and America's Cup winner (1930, 34, 37), dies at 85
  • 1988-05-01 Ben Lexcen, Australian yacht designer (Australia II 1983 America's Cup), dies of heart disease at 52
  • 1988-10-24 Sumner White, American sailor (Olympic gold 1952), dies at 58
  • 1993-09-26 Owen Aisher, English businessman and president (Royal Yachting Association 1970-75), dies at 93
  • 1994-06-16 Bernard Moitessier, French sailor, vagabond and author who famously led the 1st non-stop, singlehanded, round the world yacht race before sailing a 2nd lap of the world back to Tahiti, dies of prostate cancer at 69 [1]
  • 1996-01-14 Jacques-Baptiste LeBrun, French finn yachtsman (Olympic gold 1932), dies at 85
  • 1997-08-13 Emil 'Bus' Mosbacher, American yachtsman (America's Cup 1962 [Weatherly], 1967 [Intrepid]), dies at 75
  • 1998-06-12 Éric Tabarly, French Navy officer and yachtsman, dies at 66

Peter Blake

2001-12-05 Peter Blake, New Zealand yachtsman (Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90; America's Cup 1995, 2000) and Special Envoy UN Environment Program, killed by pirates on the Amazon River at 53

  • 2010-11-16 Britton Chance, American molecular biologist and yachtsman (Olympic gold 5½m Class 1952), dies at 97
  • 2013-01-31 Timir Pinegin, Russian sailor (Olympic gold 1960), dies at 85
  • 2013-05-09 Andrew Simpson, British sailor, dies after a yacht capsize at 36

Hobart "Hobie" Alter

2014-03-29 Hobart "Hobie" Alter, American surf and sailing entrepreneur and pioneer who created the Hobie Cat, dies of cancer at 80

  • 2014-06-01 Valentin Mankin, Ukrainian yachtsman (Olympic gold, USSR, Finn class 1968), dies at 75
  • 2015-06-05 Alan Bond, Australian businessman and yachting syndicate owner (America's Cup 1983), dies from heart failure at 77
  • 2016-12-07 Paul Elvstrøm, Danish yachtsman (4 Olympic gold, Finn class 1948, 52, 56, 60), dies at 88
  • 2018-02-24 Durward Knowles, Bahamas yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1968), dies at 100
  • 2018-07-31 Tony Bullimore, British yachtsman (1997 solo around-the-world yacht race, dramatic rescue), dies of cancer at 79 [1]
  • 2019-06-02 Lowell North, American yachtsman (Olympic Gold 1968) and sailmaker (North Sails), dies at 89
  • 2020-05-01 Georgios Zaimis, Greek sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1960), dies at 82
  • 2020-06-02 John Cuneo, Australian sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1972), dies at 91
  • 2021-10-04 Laurie Davidson, New Zealand yacht designer (Black Magic 1995; Team New Zealand 2000; America's Cup HOF 2007), dies at 94