The National Sailing Hall of Fame has announced the six people who will make up its 2015 class of inductees: sailing school founder Steve Colgate (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Olympic medalist Paul Foerster (Rockwall, Texas), Olympic medalist and author JJ Fetter (San Diego, Calif.), boat building innovators and brothers Meade and Jan Gougeon (both Bay City, Mich.) and U.S. Olympic Yachting Committee Director Samuel V. Merrick (Medford, N.J.), the recipient of the NSHOF’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The six members of the class of 2015 join 42 previously-recognized individuals as the National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by focusing attention on Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing,” said Gary Jobson, President of the NSHOF. “Those achievements – on-the-water, at a drawing board or in the administration of the sport – have inspired and affected competitive sailors and recreational boaters alike. By recognizing these contributors and sharing their stories, the NSHOF is preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture while inspiring the next generation of sailors.”
Following a two-month period this spring during which sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, a selection committee – made up of representatives from US Sailing, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, a previous inductee, and the NSHOF Board – reviewed the broad spectrum of nominations.
Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age or older, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. 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 U.S., 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, Maryland.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will induct an American citizen, 55 years of age or older, who has had consistent involvement in sailing for a majority of his or her life and had success in the sport while also becoming successful and achieving noteworthy stature in a non-sailing career.
The 2015 class of inductees will be formally celebrated on Sunday, October 4, 2015. The invitation-only Induction Ceremony will be held at the Bay Head Yacht Club (Bay Head, N.J.) and is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Condé Nast. Additional support is provided by SunSail, Volvo Penta and Mount Gay Rum.