Harken Derm

Sally and Stan Honey, America’s Cup Couple

Published on August 18th, 2013

By Julian Guthrie, SFGate

It was the fall of 1976 when Sally Lindsay went looking for a college student named Stan Honey to repair her Volvo 122S. She was told that Honey, an engineering major at Yale, had a car like hers, and was a guy who could fix just about anything.

“I towed my car to the Yale yacht club, the student club where he was living, saw him, and thought, ‘Oh, he’s pretty nice,’ ” she recalled with a laugh.

Honey, for his part, was thrilled to be meeting “one of the most skilled female sailors around.”

Nearly 37 years later, Sally and Stan, who live in San Francisco, are to sailing insiders what Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors were to tennis enthusiasts – the sweethearts of their sport, only with a better relationship outcome.

Sally Lindsay is now Sally Honey, a sailing legend who is a two-time U.S. Yachtswoman of the Year and a North American champion in the 505 sailboat classification, where she regularly trounced her male competitors.

Stan Honey, 58, is not only one of sailing’s top navigators, setting records in many around-the-world regattas, but also a game-changing engineer whose tinkering has taken him from cars, boats and navigation tools to new systems that have changed the way fans see sports on TV, whether it’s football, NASCAR or the Olympics.

Creator of the electronic yellow first-down line for NFL games, Honey is now bringing his brand of augmented reality to televised sailing. LiveLine, which Honey developed for the America’s Cup at the request of Oracle co-founder (and Cup defender) Larry Ellison, superimposes an array of graphics on the nautical field – from boat speed to currents – with the goal of making racing on the water understandable to the average television viewer.

“What brought us together was the car – the Volvo 122S – but what kept us together was sailing,” Sally Honey said over a late lunch following a day of sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Stan Honey, who shares his wife’s self-effacing manner, agreed that sailing has been the glue in their marriage. “Sailing is huge,” he said. “We have this very strong shared interest, and we both managed to get pretty good at it.” Read on

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