The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the nine people who will make up its 2016 class of inductees which includes the legendary sailing champion (Star Worlds, Congressional Cup and America’s Cup) Bill Ficker (Newport Beach, Calif.).
Putting aside superior tactics and his allocation of responsibility that produced a happy boat, Ficker credits Cal Tech with Intrepid’s quickness. “They interpreted all our speed data,” he says. "We sailed precisely to the numbers they gave us. The crew was very disciplined. Tactician Steve van Dyck and navigator Peter Wilson did a good job keeping me on the numbers."
Bill Ficker has had a cat bird seat for watching both his beloved Star class and the America’s Cup go through significant changes. The Star class was one of the few games in town 75 years ago, and at one time, the only class with a world championship regatta. He applauds its ability to police itself and to adapt to new materials and technology. Ficker helped direct that adaptation as a member of the class’s technical committee.
We all give them lip service while Burnham has made them his mantra. He was a major contributor to a new junior sailing center at the yacht club on one condition: that the seven virtues would not only be taught there, but indelibly imprinted on the building. One of those virtues, playing by the rules, cost him a second Star World Championship. He and crew Jim Reynolds had a strong lead in the 1963 series in Chicago. "In race four, the leech of the main touched the windward mark," Reynolds says. No one saw the infringement, but Burnham immediately dropped out.
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