Australia Launches Sailing Hall of Fame

Published on November 16th, 2016

Australian Sailing has announced the establishment of the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame, to acknowledge exceptional performance and contribution by individuals to sailing at international and/or national level, past and present. The Hall of Fame will be inclusive of all forms of sailing and for both able bodied and disabled, celebrating the sport of sailing.

The establishment of organised sailing in Australia was considered the appropriate start date and research indicates the first sailing race was held on January 26, 1837 and eight months later, the establishment of the first yacht Club in Australia, the Tamar Yacht Club on September 2, 1837.

Announcing the Hall of Fame at the recent Australian Sailing Awards, the Australian Sailing President Matt Allen, who has been instrumental in its establishment, said, “This is something that has been talked about for years and now the Hall of Fame will be a reality. It will provide a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of so many amazing people in a permanent display to celebrate our great sport of sailing.”

Matt Allen was also pleased to confirm a partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum who will be the Hall of Fame’s ‘home’. “Having a globally recognised institution willing to partner with Australian Sailing in this project is something very special for our sport,” added Matt.

Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum is excited by the opportunity provided by the establishment of the Hall of Fame, saying, “We applaud this initiative and are very keen to be involved in the project. By hosting and maintaining a virtual Hall of Fame within the websites of the Museum and Australian Sailing, it will provide recognition each year of the new inductees, allow us to undertake special exhibitions when appropriate and in the longer term, consideration of a permanent space.”

Chief Executive Officer of Australian Sailing, Matt Carroll said, “A Board-appointed working party developed the membership criteria and induction process for the Hall of Fame, with two membership categories Sailor (athlete) and General. The emphasis for the Hall Of Fame is about quality not quantity and about the highest of achievements in sailing.”

The Sailor or Athlete category covers those who have, across the different types of sailing, competed at the highest level of competition, or through personal endeavour attained a performance of particularly outstanding achievement that warrants special recognition. The General category is for individuals who have, from personal effort or initiative, made an outstanding contribution in sailing that has significantly added to the performances of sailors or to the development and status of sailing as a sport. The category will include administrators, coaches, sports science/medicine, media, race officials, judging and designers.

Matt Carroll added, “We will have two criteria that are different from many other sporting Halls of Fame, one, that as sailing is a sport for life, nominees do not have to be retired from the sport and two, while nominations in the main will be for individuals, nominations can be for a crew, owner(s), and designer(s) of a specific boat for outstanding achievement.”

Australian Sailing will now progress the project with a Selection Panel to be identified, process for the method of receiving and researching the nominations and determining overall timings. The plan is for the first inductees to be announced in the second half of 2017.

Source: Jane Gordon, Australian Sailing

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