Cuthbertson, Kirby inducted in Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame

Published on April 2nd, 2014

Sail Canada has announced the induction of George Cuthbertson and Bruce Kirby into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors of Sail Canada has determined to establish a Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame to recognise illustrious individuals who have made notable contributions to sailing in Canada and worldwide.

Sail Canada and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston have agreed to collaborate in the development of the Hall of Fame, initially in a virtual format, with a physical display to follow in due course.

“The Board of Sail Canada is delighted to be associated with the acknowledgment of the extraordinary contribution these sailors have made to Canadian and International Sailing,” notes Sail Canada President Alan Lombard. “Their recognition paves the way for Canadian sailing to honour other illustrious individuals who have brought considerable credit to the name of sailing in Canada. We are delighted to be collaborating with the Marine Museum in this regard.”

George and Bruce’s achievements and contributions to Canadian Sailing will be celebrated at the Inaugural Gala dinner of the “New Age of Sail” exhibit by the Marine Museum. This dinner will be hosted by Kingston Yacht Club on the evening of May 10th, 2014.

George Cuthbertson
George Cuthbertson started his long yacht design career right out of university, and by the time of the founding of C&C Yachts in 1969, had already established himself and the design firm of Cuthbertson and Cassian as one of the handful of leading yacht design firms in the world.

With Inishfree, Red Jacket, Inferno, the Redline 41, Manitou,and the C&C 27, 35, 39, 43, 50, and 61, George established a design legacy that would be the envy of any sailor or yacht designer in the world. The successful racing record of C&C designs on International racing circuits established the credibility and panache that led to the successful building of high quality production boats for everyday sailors, and attracted thousands of families to sailing as a recreational pursuit.

However, George would cap that remarkable design career by becoming the President of C&C Yachts at a time when it became the most recognized and successful production and custom boat builder in North America and the world. Leaving C&C in 1981 after a corporate take-over, George returned to his first love design by re-establishing himself as an independent yacht designer.

George’s contribution to Canadian yacht design and Canadian boatbuilding deserves to be recognized. Without George Cuthbertson there would still have been a boatbuilding industry in Canada, but George Cuthbertson made it a truly Canadian industry by building Canadian designs.

Bruce Kirby
Although Bruce Kirby is globally recognized as the designer of the 13′-10″ Laser Olympic sailing dinghy, of which over 215,000 have now been built, Bruce’s design career embraces seven renowned International 14′ Dinghy designs and a multitude of successful one-design classes, such as the Sonar, Kirby 25 and Ideal 18, America’s Cup Twelve Meters; production racer/cruisers like the San Juan 24 and 30; off-shore racing boats such as the Admiral’s Cup 40′ Runaway; a number of innovative cruising designs; and a variety of plywood Sharpie designs for home construction.

His sailing career is no less impressive, involving International Fourteen championships and International Team Racing, three Olympic campaigns, and off shore and Admiral’s Cup racing in his boats and others. On top of that Bruce was a pioneering sailing journalist, editor of One-Design and Off-Shore Yachtsman, which lives still as Sailing World magazine.

Bruce is already a member of the US National Sailing Hall of Fame, the International Yacht Racing Hall of Fame, the Canadian International Fourteen Foot Dinghy Hall of Fame, and the City of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. It is long past due that Bruce be recognised in his native Canada for all his contributions to Canadian and International sailing.

‘New Age of Sail’ at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston
The New Age of Sail exhibit this summer at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston will focus on the huge growth in sailing in the 1960s and 70s brought on by a postwar boom economy and the introduction of fiberglass boatbuilding. Both George Cuthbertson and Bruce Kirby were instrumental in the growth of sailing in this period and both have agreed to be the Honourary Curators of this exhibit.

The by-laws of the Hall of Fame will be posted in the coming weeks at

Source: Sail Canada

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