Ken McAlpine selected for America’s Cup Hall of Fame
Published on March 24th, 2018
The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America’s Cup Hall of Fame has selected Ken McAlpine (AUS) as the sole inductee for the Class of 2018 to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.
The America’s Cup Hall of Fame was founded in 1992, as an arm of the Herreshoff Marine Museum by Halsey Herreshoff, a four-time America’s Cup defender and grandson of legendary yacht designer Nathanael G. Herreshoff. Over eighty legends of the Cup have been inducted into the Hall.
Candidates eligible for consideration include members of the crew, designers, builders, syndicate leaders, supporters, chroniclers, and other individuals of merit. Each nominee is judged on the basis of outstanding ability, international recognition, character, performance, and contributions to the sport.
The members of the Selection Committee are persons intimate with the history and traditions of America’s Cup and committed to the integrity of the Hall of Fame.
McAlpine will be officially inducted to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at an official ceremony in 2018, with details to be announced soon. He will be joined by Class of 2017 inductees Syd Fischer, John K. Marshall, and Doug Peterson after the 2017 event was postponed due to unforeseen circumstance.
Ken McAlpine has been at the heart of the competition for the America’s Cup for over 30 years, witnessing the America’s Cup evolve from the 12-Metre Class through the America’s Cup Class to the foiling catamarans of the 35th America’s Cup Match.
During this period, he measured more America’s Cup yachts than any other person in the history of the Cup. In this role, he demonstrated an intimate knowledge of the class rules; and, he also assisted in the development of the 12-Metre Class rule and the AC Class rule.
McAlpine’s love for the sea developed during his childhood in Sydney, Australia, and so it was natural that he went on to train as a naval architect. His involvement with the America’s Cup began in the seventies, and in 1983, on behalf of the Australian Yachting Federation, he was appointed measurer for Australia II and Challenge 12.
Following the success of Australia II, McAlpine was appointed a member of the Measurement Committee for the Cup’s defense in Fremantle, Australia.
McAlpine has lived in a world of secrecy and discretion: he was often the first to learn about loopholes found by design teams and was often faced with the extraordinary pressure to safeguard the deepest secrets of Cup yacht designs. He has ruled on complex technical matters such as Australia II’s winged keel and Team New Zealand’s “Hula” hull.
Few people realize what it means to deal with the brightest minds in the sport lead by the wealthiest men on earth who, each in their own way, are experts in exerting pressure to have matters swing their way.
“Ken McAlpine is one of the unsung heroes of the America’s Cup,” said America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chair Steve Tsuchiya. “You can’t do what Ken did for as long as he did it without being both supremely talented and incredibly diplomatic!”
During his long America’s Cup tenure, Ken McAlpine has used his naval architectural and engineering skills, along with tact, patience, and interpersonal skills to deliver a playing field as level as possible within the confines of the sport. His dedication and integrity in performing these tasks had a profound peacekeeping and stabilizing influence in the ever-growing complexity of the technology-driven competition for the America’s Cup.
America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee:
About the Herreshoff Marine Museum
The Herreshoff Marine Museum, located in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA, is a maritime museum dedicated to the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America’s Cup. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (1878-1945) was most notable for producing fast sailing yachts, including eight America’s Cup defenders, and steam-powered vessels. The museum, situated near Narragansett Bay on the grounds where the manufacturing company once stood, has a collection of over sixty boats including Nathanael Greene Herreshoff’s Clara, built in 1887, Harold Vanderbilt’s Trivia, and the 1992 ACC yacht, Defiant.