Eight Bells: John Potter

Published on July 6th, 2017

Sad news from Burlington, VT, where the children of John Potter report that he passed away on July 2. He was 73 years old.

John Potter

A lifelong sailor, John Taft Potter, Jr. was raised on Long Island and was active on the big boat racing scene in the 1960s and 70s, before settling in Annapolis, MD with his family.

While it was just one chapter of his rich sailing life, it was in Annapolis, from the mid-1990s into the 2000s, that John Potter, a.k.a. “Alden Bugly,” became a quirky and beloved fixture on the Eastport waterfront.

“Alden Bugly” is a spoonerism for “Bald and Ugly,” but Potter—with his wavy gray hair, handsome features, and piercing blue eyes—was neither bald nor ugly. He often smiled and winked through questions about his personal history, but it was clear that he was intensely proud of his two children, Emiry and Kate, and that he was real sailor with deep experience.

He rode an endless wave of creativity, ideas, and energy. Potter combined this energy and experience with an offbeat vibe and a generous spirit and turned his focus to small boat race management and promotion.

Potter is best remembered as the spark and spirit behind Annapolis’s “Tuesday Evening Summer One Design” series out of Severn Sailing Association (SSA). He named the series, “Tee-Sod,” and for several years ran all aspects of the racing, often singlehandedly.

Much more from SpinSheet… click here.

Comment: Over the years, Scuttlebutt has had its favorite contributors, and John was on that list. Seeing an email from John always brightened my day, and while we never personally met, I will never forget him. – Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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