Eight Bells: Peggy Gregory

Published on September 7th, 2019

Peggy Gregory, who had a significant impact in the boating community, died August 12 in San Clemente, CA. She was 93 years old.

In her role as PHRF Secretary, Peggy was a very important part of the PHRF family and was responsible for monitoring the ratings of nearly 2000 boats as well as overseeing the mailing of race invitations to the Southern California membership.

Peggy became secretary in 1967 when the name PHRF stood for Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet. The activity amid this rating system attracted the attention of sailing organizations across the United States and they made inquiries for information on how the system worked.

Peggy was the conduit for this growing phenomena, providing a list of established ratings and an explanation on how to use the ratings to get results. It wasn’t long after that the acronym became the brand and fleets were established across the country.

Peggy became the first Secretary of US PHRF and served in that capacity for six years. While Peggy was not instrumental in the forming of PHRF, she most certainly was a large part of its success in becoming the most popular form of handicapping for racing sailboat fleets in all areas of the country.

Peggy remained SoCal PHRF secretary until 1987 when she retired to focus on her own business. Soon after this she became the secretary for Southern California Yachting Association, a position she held for many years.

She was awarded the Warren Ewert Memorial Trophy for distinguished service to SCYA, the James Webster Perpetual Trophy for outstanding contributions to Yachting, and shares with her husband Ed the George & Kay Fisher Trophy for distinguished service to yachting in Southern California by a couple over a sustained period of time. She has also been the Yachtswoman of the Year in the Los Angeles/ Long Beach area.

Time and space do not permit the listings of other awards, suffice to say there have been many. In addition to all of this she was the first Woman Commodore of Little Ships Fleet in 1982 followed by being the first Commodore of SCYA in 1987.

Peggy has had a very large influence on competitive sailing all across the country with her work benefiting all involved with the sport. – Dave Rustigian

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