Eight Bells: Arthur Bugs Baer

Published on January 28th, 2020

Arthur Bugs Baer, Jr., sailor and friend, died of a heart attack at age 86 on January 9 in New Haven, CT.

After graduating from Harvard, Bugs served in the Navy as navigator aboard an aircraft carrier, going on to became an investment manager and venture capitalist, with sailing becoming his passion in his 30s.

A veteran of over 35,000 miles of ocean racing, Bugs could be depended on to stand his watch and serve his trick at the helm with enthusiasm, in any weather, infecting his often much younger and tired crew mates into sharing his generous good cheer.

By 1980, he became co-manager of the Clipper syndicate for the New York Yacht Club America’s Cup defense. In a rare and extraordinary honor for an American, Bugs became a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. He was also an active member of the NYYC, RORC, and Corinthians.

Bugs sailed in three Transatlantic Races including winning one as skipper of the 79-foot S&S ketch Tempest. He also did two brutal Sydney Hobart Races, two Fastnet Races, and 16 Bermuda Races along with Miami to Montego Bay, Transpac, and Middle Sea Races

Aboard his shared Swan 48 Scaramouch, he competed in innumerable races along the East Coast of the USA. As co-skipper and/or navigator of the Chance 39 Revelation, he won fleet or class in many Northeast races including an overall division win in the Vineyard Race.

Bugs was a bright and extraordinary man, generous in mind and heart. It was a privilege to sail with him as a shipmate and to know him as a friend. Fair winds, Bugs!

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