Edward “Ed” Adams

Providence, RI

September 12, 1956

Edward “Ed” Adams

Providence, RI

September 12, 1956

Player and Coach

Edward “Ed” K. Adams is the rare sailing champion who has been able to transfer his knowledge of being a competitor to becoming a successful coach. He is in high demand on the racing circuit in every discipline of the sport. Adams grew up racing in his native Rhode Island and was a stand out sailor at the University of Rhode Island.  His team won both the Intercollegiate Dinghy Championship and the Team Racing Championship in 1977. He was named to the All American Sailing Team in 1977 and 1978.  His competitors describe Adams as “intense” and “focused.”  After graduating Adams worked as an editor at Sailing World Magazine and spent most of his spare time racing.

In 1987 Adams won the International Star Class World Championship over 79 boats in Chicago, Illinois.  He and his crew, Thomas Olsen, finished the six race championship with finishes of 3-10-1-12-1-23 to win by .3 points over Alex Hagen of West Germany. The following year Adams and Olsen placed third at the Star Worlds in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the USA he has won championships including the Snipe Nationals, J 24 North Americans, Laser Nationals, Hinman Team Race Championship, the Lightning Class winter circuit, US Sailing’s Championship of Champions (two times) and in 2002 he won the Laser Master’s World Championship. Adams was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1987 and 1991.

Adams has done many offshore races including two legs on the winning entry, “Ilbruck” in the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race, and has won the Montego Bay Race (“Carrera”), Bermuda Race (“Alexia”), Chicago to Mackinac Island (“Flash Gordon”), the IMS World Championship, the Fastnet Race (“Illbruck”), and the 50 Footer World Championship.

As a coach his teams have won the Star Worlds, an Olympic Gold Medal, the Etchells Worlds, J70 Worlds, TP 52 Worlds, Farr 40 Worlds, Melges 20 Worlds, and the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup. At a regatta he was coaching in Key West, Florida he was asked to describe the difference in sailing ability between an amateur and a professional sailor. He explained, “Mostly just an attitude. Professional sailors work longer hours. That’s their job to drive really hard. Amateurs are into fun. Amateurs are just as good when it comes right down to it but they don’t work as hard.” He served on the Board of Directors of US Sailing from 2009 to 2012. Adams and his wife, Meredith, live in Middletown, Rhode Island.

~ Gary Jobson

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