The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the six sailors who make up its 2015 class of inductees. Among those is Offshore Sailing School founder, Steve Colgate (Ft. Myers, Fla.), whose company has taught more than 130,000 adults and families to sail or sail better since its inception in 1964.
When the National Sailing Hall of Fame was formed in 2005, a central piece of its mission was to focus attention on Americans who had made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. In a statement released today from the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Gary Jobson, President of the NSHOF, said “The six members of the class of 2015 are joining 42 previously-recognized individuals whose 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 hearing their stories, the NSHOF is preserving the history of the sport and its impact on American culture while inspiring the next generation of sailors.”
Steve Colgate has not only impacted recreational boaters, he has steered his own yacht, Sleuth, to impressive wins and sailed thousands of miles of blue water racing and round-the-buoy competitions as helmsman, tactician and crew on sailboats he helped bring to the winners’ circle. Colgate started his racing career at age 19 on his first of six Transatlantic Races, racing from Cuba to Spain on the winning yacht 72’ yawl Mare Nostrum. He immediately went on to participate in his first of seven Fastnet Races; and in 1979, on his Frers 54’ Sleuth, he won his class in the 1979 Fastnet where winds hit more than 80 knots, 15 died, and many yachts retired.
In 1964 he turned his love for sailing into bringing more sailors to the lifestyle, and sport, of sailing. He started Offshore Sailing School with one location in New York City, and gradually expanded to its current eight locations in Florida, the British Virgin Islands, New Jersey and New York. With his wife and Offshore Sailing partner Doris (CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School), vowing to never get in the way of Colgate’s love for racing, he continued on to compete in two America’s Cup Trials, the Pan American Games, the Olympics, 20 Newport to Bermuda Races, 2 Sydney-Hobart races, 5 Antigua Race Weeks, and a host of other racing and sailing adventures too long to list here. Additionally, Colgate designed the school’s training vessel, the Colgate 26, with Naval Architect Jim Taylor. The Colgate 26 is the official training vessel of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard and Maine Maritime Academy.
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 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). “I am awed to be among the names of those already inducted,” stated Colgate when called by a member of the induction committee. “This is an incredible honor.”
The 2015 class of inductees will be formally celebrated on October 4th, 2015 at an invitation-only ceremony at the Bayhead Yacht Club in Bay Head, New Jersey – sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Condé Nast. Additional support is provided by SunSail, Volvo Penta and Mount Gay Rum.