National Sailing Hall of Fame

National Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Meet the Class of 2017 Inductees.

The members of the Class of 2017 join 57 previously-recognized individuals as the National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by drawing attention and recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.

“From the way the sport is run to its portrayal on the silver screen, this group of inductees has influenced the broad spectrum of today’s watersport’s enthusiast,” said Gary Jobson, President of the NSHOF. “In proudly recognizing the legacy of these contributors, by preserving and sharing their stories, the NSHOF is helping to inspire – and challenge – the next generation.”

The Class of 2017 inductees are the following: Bill Bentsen, a two-time Olympic medalist – bronze in 1964 and gold in 1972 – who has created an indelible legacy for the sport through his contributions as a racing rules and race administration expert; 5.5 World Champion Ray Hunt, the innately talented yacht designer of both sail and power vessels; boatbuilder Clark Mills, best-known as the designer of the wildly popular Optimist dinghy used by children under age 16; windsurfing superstar Robby Naish, who won his first world championship title at age 13 and went on to build a multi-million dollar watersports business; two-time Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist Randy Smyth, whose expertise as a catamaran sailor led to, among other things, work on major motion pictures; and noted America’s Cup sailor Tom Whidden, the industry giant who recently celebrated 30 years with global brand North Sails.

Two additional Inductees were recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award: avid sailor Bill Martin, whose leadership roles in business and sailing – including the Presidency of the U.S. Olympic Committee – led to a noteworthy 10 years as Athletic Director at the University of Michigan; and Corny Shields, winner of the inaugural Mallory Cup which earned him national recognition on the cover of Time magazine in 1953, who conceived the Shields one-design in 1964 and founded the I.O.D. class.

Induction Date:

September 23-24, 2017


NYYC Harbour Court
Newport, RI

  • William “Bill” Bruce Bentsen

  • Charles “Ray” Raymond Hunt

  • William “Bill” Carl Martin

  • Clark “Clarkie” Wilbur Mills

  • Robert “Robby” Staunton Naish

  • Cornelius “Corny” Shields

  • Randolph “Randy” Lyle Smyth

  • Thomas “Tom” Avery Whidden II

Sign up for our Newsletter

Check out our monthly newsletter that includes upcoming events, news and more.

"*" indicates required fields

The Sailing Museum and National Sailing Hall of Fame

The Sailing Museum & National Sailing Hall of Fame

365 Thames St.
Newport RI 02840

The Sailing Museum

National Sailing Hall of Fame

Buy Tickets