On July 12th I received word that I was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Along with 10 others, this was the 13th class of inductees into the Hall of Fame. The two day ceremony will take place in early November in Newport Beach, CA. The website with lots of information is https://nshof.org
I am absolutely shocked and overwhelmed by this award. To be so recognized by my peers, there is no greater honor. A feeling of utter accomplishment has slowly swept over me. Like I have reached the biggest weather mark, and can now just surf downwind for the rest of my sailing days.
And it made me think of everyone that helped get me here, beginning with my parents, who taught me to sail at 4yrs, and let my brother and i just go mess about in boats, and fall in love with sailing. Next were the larger than life elders at our little club in St. Thomas that I looked up to as a kid, and made me believe that anything is possible. Then my crew, the ones who did all the heavy lifting along the way. The friends that I raced against and pushed me. My supporters and sponsors that helped me adventure off island. And my Virgin Islands, where i was born and raised, that gave me the best sailing conditions in the world, and the island mentality that made me want, and believe, that i could achieve my dreams. These honors are for all-a-we.
And two weeks before this national award I also received a huge honor here at home in the Virgin Islands. As part of the 175th Virgin Islands Emancipation Celebrations, I was nominated as one of 15 Living Legends of Culture on my island of St. Thomas. The emancipation of slavery in 1848 in the then Danish Virgin Islands is a very proud part of our history, when slaves rose up and won their freedom. And I am truely honored to be considered a part of this culture and the celebration.
So some wonderful unexpected awards, and a great time of reflection and gratitude.
Next up is my racing season in Europe, where we will be racing the mighty J Class yacht TOPAZ in Sardinia at the Rolex Maxi Worlds at the beginning of September (https://www.yccs.it/en/regattas-2023/maxi_yacht_rolex_cup-3303.html ) and then the Ibiza Regatta at the end of September (https://ibizajoysail.com). We have some new crew, new sails, and have done some nice work on the boat in the off-season, so we’re looking forward to lining up against the other J’s.