In a ceremony that was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The National Sailing Hall of Fame celebrated its 10th annual induction by ushering nine individuals into the hall for 2020. The virtual event had one upside versus an in-person approach: it allowed for a large audience worldwide to view the proceedings live.
The inductees were: James E. Buttersworth (1817 to 1894, London, U.K.), Gordon “Sandy” Douglass (October 22, 1904 to February 12, 1992, Newark, N.J.), William K. Mattison (August 10, 1928, Elkins, W.Va.), Robert B. Haines, Jr. (March 27, 1954, San Diego, Calif.), David B. Perry (April 18, 1954, Southport, Conn.), John P. Rousmaniere (March 10, 1944, Louisville, Ky.), Henry “Hoyle” and Diane Schweitzer (April 8, 1933 & December 28, 1935, Los Angeles & San Jose, Calif.) and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Briggs S. Cunningham, Jr. (January 19, 1907 to July 2, 2003, West Palm Beach, Fla.).
Hall of Famers Vince Brun (2018), Peter Harken (2014), Stan Honey (2012), Bob Johnstone (2016), Tom Whidden (2017) introduced their peers and welcomed them to the Hall as part of the celebration. Joining from home were fellow inductees Betsy Alison (2011), Bill Bentsen (2017), Malin Burnham (2016), Steve Colgate (2015), and JJ Fetter (2015). Heartfelt messages of stories were shared, and the accomplishments of the new inductees lauded.
Also providing introductory and congratulatory remarks were Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Sailing President Cory Sertl, among others.
The Class of 2020 inductees, who weren’t able to have an in-person ceremony due to the pandemic, will be celebrated with a planned ceremony in Newport, R.I. on September 10, 2021 alongside the new Class of 2021.