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National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees
November 7, 2013


National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees


We are pleased to inform you that the National Sailing Hall of Fame has just announced its 2013 inductees.  The National Sailing Hall of Fame has now inducted 34 individuals in total including this year’s 10 new candidates.  Mass Bay has been very fortunate to have had winners in each of the previous years and we are thrilled to see the tradition continue again this year with three new honorees.


In the first year of this award, we had an incredible local representative in Fredrick Emmart “Ted” Hood, a sail maker and boat designer.  In 2012 we were graced with yet another honoree a local sailor and judge F. Gregg Bemis.


With this year’s list of 10 new honorees, we have been amazingly blessed with three new members.  MBSA is very pleased to introduce these extraordinary people; John Gale Alden, William Starling Burgess and David Adams Curtis.


John Gale Alden (1884-1962) is most known for his Schooner designs.  His designs are “fisherman type” schooners all wonderfully comfortable and eye-pleasingly beautiful yachts for the purpose of ocean racing.  John grew up in Troy, NY where he designed his first boat to carry him from there to Little Compton, RI.  Later moving to our area, he did an apprenticeship in Gloucester, MA building fishing schooners under the well known B. B. Crowninshield ultimately calling Marblehead home.


In 1923-32, he designed ten yachts under the “Malabar” name after an interesting point of land off Cape Cod.  Three of these boats went on to win the Newport-Bermuda Race.  John was the first man to win three separate Newport-Bermuda races.  In 1932 the first four yachts in the Newport-Bermuda race were Alden designed schooners including Malabar X with John racing it.  In total, John has designed more than 1,000 yachts.


William Starling Burgess (1878-1947) was the son of a naval yacht designer who focused on America Cup yachts in the 1880s.  Starling, unlike his father, is known for his inventors’ spirit which spanned a much wider range from aviation to automotive design.  In 1915 he won the coveted aviation trophy, the Collier Trophy.  In 1933, he partnered with Buckminster Fuller to design and build the radical Dymaxion Car.  He was also involved in numerous other fields.


In the 1930s, he finally decided to return his attention to naval architecture and created three America Cup winning J Class yachts.  In 1930 after World War I he designed his first America Cup defender, Enterprise.  This was followed by the redesign of Rainbow for the 1934 Cup race.  In 1937 he partnered with Olin Stevens and designed the incredible yacht Ranger.  Starling’s name lives on in Mass Bay each year with the awarding of the W. Starling Burgess Trophy for the overall best performance in the Corinthian Classic Boat Regatta held in August by Corinthian Yacht Club as part of the larger “Paneria” Challenge Series which includes regattas in Nantucket, MA and Newport, RI.


David Adams Curtis (1946-) is known for his winning ways and how he wins.  Dave is a renowned sail maker and truly outstanding competitor.  There is hardly a locally sailed one design fleet that he has not only competed in but won National Championships, North American Championships and World Titles in.  In several classes he has repeatedly won them.  Most notable is the very competitive Etchells fleet, where he has dominated winning two National Championships, nine North American Championships and seven World Championships alone.


Dave continues to live and play in Marblehead mostly with his daughter, Gretchen, in the local Sonar Fleet where they are Co-Fleet Captains.  He also owns a Taylor 38, Rival, which was designed in the classic spirit of old sailing traditions.  Dave has raced this boat in the Corinthian Classic Boat Regatta for several years and this year not only won in his class but also won the Best Overall Performance Trophy, the William Starling Burgess Trophy.  The symmetry here is incredible with both gentlemen being inducted to the Hall of Fame in the same year.


Congratulations to all of these inductees both current and past!  With our great tradition of sailing and involvement in the sailing industry we can only hope to see these honors bestowed in the future.


For more information on all 34 inductees, pictures and their stories and more on the Hall of Fame itself, please go to

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