Many sports have had family dynasties. Football has the Mannings, tennis has the Williams, NASCAR has the Earnhardts. Well now we have our own. Because this year’s Yachtsman of the Year is the son of our very first winner back in 1999.
He is a sailor with impeccable racing credentials, with impressive results on a wide variety of boats, including Maxi’s, J/24’s, Etchells, J/80’s, and Ensigns. His talents also include boat design and construction – in fact in 2001 he won Key West Race Week in his own designed boat, and finished 2nd in 2002. Most recently, he went to the 2016 ONE regatta in Marblehead and was tactician for the 1st place boat in class B Racing.
Of course racing success is only part of what it takes to be named Yachtsman of the Year. The other requirement is being an ambassador for the sport. Again, this year’s recipient has that quality in spades. Over the years he has helped perhaps hundreds of racers, with advice, technical assistance, equipment support and encouragement. And despite his high standing among racing sailors, he has always done so with great humility and humor. In a world with fewer and fewer of them, he is truly a gentleman and a good sport.
So it is a real pleasure to present the 2016 Yachtsman of the Year award to Richard Hallett.