Olympic Sailing Association at New Orleans

8654 Pontchartrain Blvd


New Orleans , LA 70124

(504) 731-5139

The mission of the Olympic Sailing Association at New Orleans is to:

  • Encourage and foster sailing participation by selected regional sailors in the Olympic Games and American ¬∑
  • Select and train participants for this athletic endeavor with the express purpose of cultivating the ideas of good sportsmanship, loyalty, and fair play in these athletic venture
  • Assist in financing participant sponsorship through solicitation of donation of monies and gifts in kind to sponsor and support individuals for the Olympic Games and American trials.

The Olympic Sailing Association is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Louisiana, La. R.S. 12:201, et seq. contributions to which are tax-deductible under Section 170(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


The Olympic Sailing Association of the Southern Yacht Club which was later changed to the Olympic Sailing Association at New Orleans (OSA), was conceived in the winter of 1964 by two members of the club who had just returned from the Dragon Olympic trials which had been held that year in California. During the trials a West coast skipper, Lowell North, had captured a berth in the Dragon Class for the Tokyo event..

N.C. Curtis Jr. “Buster” and Albert B. Crutcher, Jr. both top-notch Dragon skippers, had analyzed the caliber of the competition at the 1964 Olympic Trials. Based on what they saw, they decided that with adequate planning and financing it would be feasible to groom a local sailor to the extent necessary to not only represent the United States in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, but also to take the Gold Medal. Other founders and those interested in the new concept who were instrumental in the development and management of the Association included but not limited to Hampton A. Gamard; Sidney N. Provensal. Edward Benjamin owner of the yacht Indra was also a major force in the conception of the OSA and longtime contributor and past President of the OSA.

After obtaining the promise of support from interested members within the Club, the association was incorporated as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation as of August 31, 1965. The stated purpose of the organization was “to acquire sailing vessels and to select, train, and finance applicants of demonstrated ability and willingness in the use and handling of sailing vessels in order to develop vessels and crews for participation in the American Trials and the Olympic Games”.

The group’s ultimate intention was to operate as a permanent going concern under different leadership, and develop its stated purpose by utilizing local talent and local classes. For its first project it chose the Dragon Class in the 1968 Olympics and picked skipper G. Shelby “Buddy” Friedrichs, Jr. and his crew, Barton Jalmcke and Click Schreck as the best bet in the competition. A new Danish Borresen Dragon was purchased, originally christened as “Blitzkrieg” but later changed to “Williwaw” and turned over to the chosen crew for outfitting and breaking in. The choices of crew and vessel proved eminently sound with the combination winning everything in sight from the moment it began operating. Substantial funds were raised and contributed to their successful campaign which, after wins in the Dragon Class U.S. National Championship, Canadian Championship, European Championship along with the World Championship, culminated in their Olympic Gold Medal victory in Acapulco in 1968.

As the years passed and the OSA continued in the Olympic Effort in the sport of Sailing for the United States of America numerous changes in the Officers and Board of Directors occurred. Some of those include as past president and Secretary / Treasurer of the OSA; Edward B. Benjamin 1975; Herbert O’Donnell with Jack Taylor as Secretary/ Treasurer 1980’s; Daniel B. Killeen 1990 – 1999; J. Dwight LeBlanc, Jr. 2000 – 2004; Thomas S. Meric, Jr. 2005 – 2012 with Arthur Mears as Secretary Treasurer and Chris Clement with Johnny Lovell as Secretary / Treasurer 2013 – 2016.

The following is a list of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls generally in the Southern Region that have dedicated enormous time and energy in their Quest for Olympic Gold. Some of the achievements were prior to the formation of the OSA at New Orleans but had a major influence  in the development of the OSA. Due to the dedication and efforts regarding Olympics, the Teams listed deserve the proper recognition for their support in High Level Olympic Competition in the Sport of Sailing. It all started in 1932 when the United States received its First Gold Medal m Sailing.

Quick Links

The Sailing Museum & Hall of Fame

365 Thames Street

Newport, RI 02840