Stan Honey: Smartest man in yachting?

Published on October 19th, 2022

Stan Honey’s career is unrivaled, from breaking records on the water in some of the world’s toughest offshores, to technical innovations of it. Sean McNeill chats with Honey for Yachting World magazine:

Stan Honey’s first ever offshore race set the tone for his career. Then a lean and mean 14-year-old racing Lasers out of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, Honey already had an interest in all things technical.In 1969 Stan Honey had the opportunity to go yacht racing, and took on the dual roles of navigator and bowman on his offshore debut, not only earning his place on the boat, but taking a seat at the adults’ table.

“It was an absolutely riveting experience,” recalls Honey. “The thing I found most engaging was the ability to compete against – but mostly sail on a team with – grown-ups. There were boat owners such as George Griffith (who conceived the Cal 40 design) and Al Martin (a Los Angeles architect) who, if a kid wanted responsibility, let him have it. I expressed an interest in the bow and navigation, and they let me run with it.”

More than 50 years ago navigators didn’t just hop aboard a boat, plug in the waypoints on the computer and let the routing algorithms take over. They needed to know how to use a sextant and dead-reckon. Navigation before the digital age wasn’t easy. The young Stan Honey, however, embraced the challenge.

“For a kid, that was incredible. It’s what committed me to the sport for life, that experience of responsibility and a set of skills respected by grown-ups,” Honey says. – Full report

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